Blue Jays will make a qualifying offer to Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion

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The Blue Jays will make a $17.2 million qualifying offer to outfielder Jose Bautista and first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnacion, but will not make one to outfielder Michael Saunders, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. A team signing a player who rejects a QO must forfeit its highest available draft pick for the upcoming season.

That Saunders isn’t receiving a QO is not particularly surprising news. He had a healthy and productive year but has otherwise been injury-prone throughout his eight-year career. Saunders finished the 2016 season with a .253/.338/.478 triple-slash line with 24 home runs and 57 RBI in 558 plate appearances.

Bautista, 36, will head into free agency which will perhaps be his last chance to strike a multi-year deal, given his age. His 2016 numbers were quite a bit below his usual production, especially the power numbers. Bautista put up a .234/.366/.452 slash line with 22 homers and 69 RBI in 517 PA.

Encarnacion, 33, led the league in RBI with 127 while slugging 42 homers and compiling a .263/.357/.529 slash line in 702 PA.

Kyle Gibson, Orioles finalize 1-year, $10M contract

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SAN DIEGO – Right-hander Kyle Gibson and the Baltimore Orioles finalized a one-year, $10 million contract.

The 35-year-old would receive a $150,000 assignment bonus if traded, payable by the receiving team. He also can earn a $25,000 bonus if he is elected or selected for the All-Star team. Gibson was an All-Star in 2021.

Gibson was 10-8 with a 5.05 ERA in 31 starts for Philadelphia last season. He also pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings in two relief appearances in the postseason for the NL champions.

Baltimore gained another experienced arm as it looks to build on its surprising season. After losing 110 games the previous year, the Orioles contended for an AL wild card for much of the summer before finishing 83-79 for the franchise’s first winning record since 2016.

Gibson was an AL All-Star in 2021, going 6-3 with a 2.87 ERA in 19 starts for Texas. He was traded to Philadelphia that July, and he went 4-6 with a 5.09 ERA in 12 appearances for the Phillies down the stretch.

The 6-foot-6 Gibson was selected by Minnesota in the first round of the 2009 amateur draft. He made his big league debut with the Twins in 2013.

He spent his first first seven seasons with Minnesota, going 67-68 with a 4.52 ERA in 193 games, including 188 starts. He had his best year in 2018, finishing with a career-low 3.62 ERA in a career-best 196 2/3 innings.

Gibson, who signed a $28 million, three-year contract with Texas in December 2019, is 89-91 with a 4.52 ERA in 267 major league games.