Jon Heyman reports that all nine of the players who received qualifying offers — Carlos Santana of the Indians, Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, and Lorenzo Cain of the Royals, Lance Lynn of the Cardinals, Alex Cobb of the Rays, Greg Holland of the Rockies, and Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis of the Cubs — will reject them.
The qualifying offer is extended by the last club to employ free agents and guarantees them a one-year contract at $17.4 million if they accept it. Players who received a qualifying offer have until November 16 to accept or reject the offer. If they reject, the team gets draft pick compensation and the club which signs one of the free agents loses a pick.
It’s not surprising that the current free agents to whom offers were extended will reject them.
Moustakas and Hosmer are both under 30 and can expect multi-year offers. Santana and Cain are each above average everyday players who can likewise expect to find better deals than 1-year, $17.4 million. Pitching is always at a premium on the open market, so a former Cy Young winner like Arrieta, a couple of 30-year-old starters like Lynn and Cobb and a couple of top closers in Davis and Holland should do OK too.
If Heyman is right about this, it will be the first time since 2014 when no one has accepted an offer. Five players have accepted qualifying offers in the past: Jeremy Hellickson and Neil Walker last year and Colby Rasmus, Matt Wieters and Brett Anderson in 2015.