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.