Roundup of players to receive $15.3 million qualifying offers

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We’ve been tracking the $15.3 million qualifying offers as news about them has rolled in for each player, but now that the deadline has passed here’s a complete list of every free agent who received a qualifying offer.

Melky Cabrera, Blue Jays (HBT write-up)

Nelson Cruz, Orioles (HBT write-up)

Michael Cuddyer, Rockies (HBT write-up)

Francisco Liriano, Pirates (HBT write-up)

Russell Martin, Pirates (HBT write-up)

Victor Martinez, Tigers (HBT write-up)

Hanley Ramirez, Dodgers (HBT write-up)

David Robertson, Yankees (HBT write-up)

Pablo Sandoval, Giants (HBT write-up)

Ervin Santana, Braves (HBT write-up)

Max Scherzer, Tigers (HBT write-up)

James Shields, Royals (HBT write-up)

Players can accept or decline the one-year, $15.3 million contract to return to their original team. If they decline and sign elsewhere, their original team receives draft pick compensation and their new team forfeits a draft pick.

In the first two years of the qualifying offer system zero of the 22 players who received offers accepted them, but that seems likely to change this year. Cuddyer in particular seems almost sure to take the $15.3 million and there are also several other candidates to do so.

Yasmani Grandal signs a four-year, $73 million deal with the White Sox

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The first truly big free agent signing of the offseason has gone down: the Chicago White Sox just announced that they have signed catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million deal.

Grandal, 31, was the best catcher available in free agency. He is coming off a fine year with the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom he had to settle for a one-year pact in 2019. He hit .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers and 77 driven in. It was his fourth straight season with 20+ homers. While his catching has been criticized due to some high-profile mistakes in the postseason, the two-time All-Star once again proved himself to be one of the best pitch-framers in the game if not the best. Between the bat and the glove he has a claim to being one of the best all-around catchers in baseball.

The signing leaves open the question of what happens to James McCann, who was himself an All-Star this year. It’s not that hard a question, of course, as Grandal is a far superior catcher to McCann in every respect. The Sox could make McCann a backup. Alternatively, they could try to trade him to fill other holes on the roster.

The White Sox finished 72-89 in 2019 but are showing signs of coming out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode. This signing pushes them a big step into that direction.