Bryce Harper
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Seven players receive qualifying offers for 2019

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A record-low seven MLB players received qualifying offers before the 5 PM EDT deadline on November 2. They’ll each have 10 days to mull over the decision to accept or reject the one-year, $17.9 million contract before entering free agency this winter.

In no particular order, these are the seven prospective free agents for whom an offer is currently on the table:

Of the seven listed, all but Ryu are expected to decline the offer and pursue more lucrative multi-year deals elsewhere. It’s not immediately clear whether Ryu intends to turn down a one-year deal with the Dodgers, as 2018 saw the injury-plagued southpaw work through a lengthy stint on the 60-day disabled list after sustaining a gruesome groin strain in early May. He finished the season with just 15 starts for the club, during which he pitched to a 7-3 record with a 1.97 ERA, 1.6 BB/9 and 9.7 SO/9 over 82 1/3 innings. While he’s been lights-out on the mound when healthy, there’s no guarantee he’ll be able to pitch injury-free in 2019.

There’s also a case to be made for Dodgers’ backstop Yasmani Grandal, who followed up a relatively solid performance during the regular season with a discouraging slump in the playoffs. As the Dodgers moved within sight of a championship title, the veteran catcher was charged with three passed balls and two errors in 13 appearances behind the plate and batted just .138/.265/.276 with two extra-base hits and 15 strikeouts in 34 PA. Postseason performances often make for poor sample sizes, though, and it’s possible that Grandal will be inspired to seek greener pastures when November 12 rolls around.

Several dozen eligible players have not received qualifying offers from their respective teams this year, including the Astros’ Charlie Morton, Indians’ Michael Brantley, Giants’ Hunter Pence, Rockies’ DJ LeMahieu, Athletics’ Jed Lowrie, and Yankees’ CC Sabathia.

Report: Yankees could be in on Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado
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The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.

The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.

Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.