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Jacob deGrom homers, sets career-high with 14 strikeouts

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Reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom had himself a day against the Marlins on Wednesday. The right-hander helped his own cause, hitting a solo home run in the top of the third inning off of Trevor Richards, pushing the lead to 2-0. On the pitching side of things, deGrom set a new career-high with 14 strikeouts. deGrom had registered 13 strikeouts in a game four times, including twice last year.

The homer is the second of deGrom’s career. He also homered on June 18, 2017 against the Nationals. The guy does it all.

Across his seven shutout innings, deGrom limited the Marlins to two hits and a walk. It’s the eighth time in his career deGrom has gone at least seven innings while limiting the competition to two or fewer hits.

Two starts into the 2019 season, deGrom has yet to allow a run. He tossed six shutout innings with 10 strikeouts on Opening Day against the Nationals.

Two of 10 players accept $17.8 million qualifying offers

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First baseman José Abreu and starter Jake Odorizzi have accepted their $17.8 million qualifying offers from the White Sox and Twins, respectively, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports. Reliever Will Smith signed a three-year contract with the Braves ahead of Thursday’s 5 PM ET deadline to accept or reject the qualifying offer.

The remaining seven players — Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Stephen Strasburg, Zack Wheeler, Madison Bumgarner, Josh Donaldson, and Marcell Ozuna — have rejected their qualifying offers, per Passan. They are officially free agents and will have draft pick compensation attached to them, a potential deterrent for some interested teams.

The QO is unlikely to materially affect the fates of Cole, Rendon, and Strasburg, but it could limit the markets for the other four players. Reliever Craig Kimbrel and starter Dallas Keuchel both had draft pick compensation attached to them after the 2018 season and didn’t end up signing until June. It seems unlikely that Wheeler, Bumgarner, Donaldson, and Ozuna would have to wait until June next year to sign but it may take a while for their markets to develop.