Deadline day: 3 of 20 free agents accept $15.8 million qualifying offer

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This year a record 20 free agents received a qualifying offer valued at $15.8 million for one season and 16 of them declined it, hitting the open market.

Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus, Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, and Dodgers left-hander Brett Anderson accepted the one-year, $15.8 million offer to remain with their previous teams and Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada agreed to a two-year, $26 million deal prior to the accept/decline deadline.

Before this year no free agent had ever accepted a qualifying offer, so this represents a big shift in the process.

Below you’ll find the full lists.

ACCEPTED:
Brett Anderson, Dodgers
Colby Rasmus, Astros
Matt Wieters, Orioles

BYPASSED WITH MULTI-YEAR DEAL:
Marco Estrada, Blue Jays

DECLINED:
Wei-Yin Chen, Orioles
Chris Davis, Orioles
Ian Desmond, Nationals
Dexter Fowler, Cubs
Yovani Gallardo, Rangers
Alex Gordon, Royals
Zack Greinke, Dodgers
Jason Heyward, Cardinals
Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners
Howie Kendrick, Dodgers
Ian Kennedy, Padres
John Lackey, Cardinals
Daniel Murphy, Mets
Jeff Samardzija, White Sox
Justin Upton, Padres
Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals

Each of the 16 free agents to decline the qualifying offer now have draft pick compensation attached to signing them, which in some cases could significantly hurt their number of interested suitors.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).