Dodgers offer QOs to Seager, Taylor but not Kershaw

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK- The Los Angeles Dodgers have extended qualifying offers to free agent All-Stars Corey Seager and Chris Taylor, but not Clayton Kershaw.

Seager and Taylor were among 14 players offered $18.4 million, one-year qualifying offer deals before the deadline Sunday night. If players reject those offers and sign with another club, their former team is entitled to draft pick compensation.

Kershaw has spent his entire 14-year career with Los Angeles, winning three Cy Young Awards and the 2020 World Series with the Dodgers. He was 10-8 with a 3.55 ERA in 22 regular season starts but missed the postseason due to a left forearm injury that is not expected to require surgery.

Atlanta slugger Freddie Freeman received a qualifying offer from the World Series-winning Braves, while the AL champion Houston Astros extended offers to shortstop Carlos Correa and right-hander Justin Verlander. The latter missed all of 2021 following Tommy John surgery, but the 38-year-old hopes to return next season.

The New York Mets announced Saturday that outfielder Michael Conforto and righty Noah Syndergaard were offered QOs. The Toronto Blue Jays were the only other team with multiple qualifying offers, made to left-hander Robbie Ray and infielder Marcus Semien.

Semien is a free agent for the second consecutive offseason but did not receive a qualifying offer from Oakland last year before signing an $18 million, one-year deal with Toronto. Players can only be extended qualifying offers once in their careers under the collective bargaining agreement, which is set to expire at the end of the month.

Boston left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, Cincinnati outfielder Nick Castellanos, Colorado shortstop Trevor Story, Los Angeles Angels reliever Raisel Iglesias and San Francisco first baseman Brandon Belt rounded out the list of players to receive qualifying offers.

Among the notable free agents who did not receive qualifying offers: Colorado right-hander Jon Gray, Chicago White Sox lefty Carlos Rodon and Giants pitcher Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Wood.

Players have until Nov. 17 to decide if they’ll accept. Just 10 of 96 players to receive a qualifying offer have accepted since the system was introduced in 2012.

Report: Brandon Nimmo staying with Mets on 8-year, $162M deal

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK – Center fielder Brandon Nimmo is staying with the free-spending New York Mets, agreeing to an eight-year, $162 million contract, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the agreement is subject to a successful physical and no announcement had been made.

A quality leadoff hitter with an excellent eye and a .385 career on-base percentage, Nimmo became a free agent last month for the first time. He was a key performer as the Mets returned to the playoffs this year for the first time since 2016.

The left-handed hitter batted .274 with 16 homers and a team-high 102 runs, a career high. He also set career bests with 64 RBIs and 151 games played. His seven triples tied for most in the National League.

Bringing back Nimmo means New York is poised to return its entire everyday lineup intact from a team that tied for fifth in the majors in runs and won 101 regular-season games – second-most in franchise history.

But the Mets remain busy replenishing a pitching staff gutted by free agency, including Jacob deGrom‘s departure for Texas and Taijuan Walker‘s deal with Philadelphia that was pending a physical.

On the final day of baseball’s winter meetings Wednesday, the Mets completed an $86.7 million, two-year contract with former Houston ace Justin Verlander that includes a conditional $35 million player option for 2025. New York also retained All-Star closer Edwin Diaz last month with a $102 million, five-year contract, and the team has a $26 million, two-year agreement in place with veteran starter Jose Quintana, pending a physical.

Those moves add to a payroll that was the largest in the majors last season. Under owner Steve Cohen, who bought the Mets in November 2020, New York became baseball’s biggest spender this year for the first time since 1989. The Mets’ payroll was $273.9 million as of Aug. 31, with final figures that include bonuses yet to be compiled.

Nimmo was selected by New York with the No. 13 pick in the 2011 amateur draft. He declined a $19.65 million qualifying offer from the Mets last month.

The 29-year-old Wyoming native made his big league debut in 2016. He is a .269 career hitter with 63 homers, 213 RBIs and 23 triples in 608 games. He has an .827 career OPS and has improved his play in center, becoming a solid defender.

Nimmo’s new deal with the Mets was first reported by the New York Post.