According to the Associated Press the value of the free agent qualifying offer has risen from $14.1 million last offseason to $15.3 million this offseason, which means teams hoping to receive draft pick compensation for losing a free agent will need to risk the player accepting a one-year deal for that amount.
Last offseason zero of the 22 players who received $14.1 million qualifying offers accepted them, although several players who turned them down (Kendrys Morales, Stephen Drew) ended up regretting the decision later.
The price of the qualifying offer is the average salary of the 125 highest-paid players in baseball and since being introduced in 2012 has risen from $13.3 million to $14.1 million to $15.3 million.
Among the free agents who seem like good bets to receive qualifying offers this winter: Max Scherzer, James Shields, Hanley Ramirez, Victor Martinez, Pablo Sandoval, J.J. Hardy, Russell Martin, Melky Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, David Robertson.
Impending free agents who were traded during the season (Jon Lester, for example) are not eligible to receive qualifying offers.