Judge, deGrom among 14 with $19.65M qualifying offers

New York Yankees v Texas Rangers - Game Two
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NEW YORK – Aaron Judge, Jacob deGrom and Xander Bogaerts were among 14 free agents who were given $19.65 million qualifying offers by their former teams on Thursday

Dansby Swanson, Trea Turner, Willson Contreras and Carlos Rodon also were given the offers, as were Chris Bassitt, Brandon Nimmo, Nathan Eovaldi, Anthony Rizzo, Joc Pederson, Martin Perez and Tyler Anderson.

Players have until Nov. 20 to accept, and top players are expected to decline and pursue more lucrative long-term contracts on the free-agent market. Players can discuss financial offers with all teams starting Friday.

Qualifying offers began after the 2012 season, and only eight of 110 offers have been accepted. Among the 14 players given $18.4 million offers last year, only San Francisco first baseman Brandon Belt said yes.

A free agent can be made a qualifying offer only if he has been with the same team continuously since opening day and has never received a qualifying offer before.

If a team makes a qualifying offer to a player who signs a major league contract with another club before the amateur draft, his former club would receive a draft pick as compensation at the end of the first round or at the end of competitive balance round B. The placement depends on the amount of the new contract and the revenue-sharing and luxury-tax status of the team losing the player.

Major League Baseball offered last winter to drop qualifying offers and direct draft-pick compensation, and the March lockout settlement tied the proposal to the players’ association agreeing to an international amateur draft. The union rejected the draft in July.

The qualifying offer price is the average of the top 125 contracts by average annual value. The price started at $13.3 million in 2012 and rose to $14.1 million in 2013, $15.3 million in 2014, $15.8 million in 2015, $17.2 million in 2016 and $17.4 million in 2017.

Phillies, RHP Taijuan Walker reportedly agree to 4-year deal

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SAN DIEGO – The active Philadelphia Phillies added Taijuan Walker to their rotation on Tuesday, agreeing to a $72 million, four-year contract with the right-hander.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the move to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

It was the second major free-agent score for the Phillies at the winter meetings after they reeled in shortstop Trea Turner on Monday with a $300 million, 11-year deal. Walker and Turner join a Phillies team that made it to the World Series this year before losing to the Houston Astros.

The 30-year-old Walker went 12-5 with a 3.49 ERA in 29 starts this season for the New York Mets, one of Philadelphia’s biggest NL East rivals. He slots into a rotation fronted by Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola.

The Phillies recently lost pitcher Zach Eflin in free agency to Tampa Bay.

Asked about the market for Walker earlier in the day, agent Scott Boras said it was robust.

“As you can see in the marketplace, there’s a whole number of pitchers that are throwing 60 and 70 innings that have been pursued, probably with the exception of (Jacob) deGrom, at the lower end of threshold around $13-15 million a year because the demand for quality pitching is so great,” Boras said.

“So, Tai … is one of the younger ones, one of the more durable ones and we expect him to be pursued greatly as his market unfolds.”

Walker was selected by Seattle with the No. 43 pick in the 2010 amateur draft. He made his big league debut with the Mariners in 2013.

Walker signed with New York as a free agent in February 2021. He turned down a $7.5 million player option last month in favor of a $3 million buyout, making his deal worth $17 million over two seasons.

The 6-foot-4 Walker made the All-Star team for the first time in 2021, putting together a fast start before fading to a 7-11 record with a 4.47 ERA in 30 games, 29 starts.