Joc Pederson, Martín Pérez accept $19.65M qualifying offers

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NEW YORK – Outfielder Joc Pederson and left-hander Martin Perez were the only players to accept $19.65 million qualifying offers from their former teams on Tuesday and end their free agency.

Pederson decided to stay with the San Francisco Giants and Perez with the Texas Rangers.

Aaron Judge, Jacob deGrom and Xander Bogaerts were among those who declined the offers, joined by Dansby Swanson, Trea Turner, Willson Contreras and Carlos Rodon along with Chris Bassitt, Brandon Nimmo, Nathan Eovaldi and Tyler Anderson.

Anthony Rizzo turned down the offer from the Yankees and had an agreement with New York on a $40 million, two-year contract subject to a successful physical, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

Qualifying offers began after the 2012 season, and only 10 of 124 offers have been accepted.

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.

Source: Aaron Judge, Yankees reach $360M, 9-year deal

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Aaron Judge has agreed to return to the New York Yankees on a $360 million, nine-year contract, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday because the deal had not been announced.

Judge will earn $40 million per season, the highest average annual payout for a position player. The contract trails only Mike Trout’s $426.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels and Mookie Betts’ $365 million pact with the Los Angeles Dodgers for biggest in baseball history.

Judge was offered a long-term deal by New York before last season that was worth $213.5 million over seven years from 2023-29. But he turned it down in the hours before opening day in April.

The 6-foot-7 Judge bet on himself — and won.

Judge set an American League record with 62 homers in 2022, powering the Yankees to the AL East title. He also tied for the major league lead with 131 RBIs and just missed a Triple Crown with a .311 batting average.

New York was swept by Houston in the AL Championship Series, but Judge became the first AL MVP for the Yankees since Alex Rodriguez in 2007.

Judge, 30, was selected by New York in the first round of the 2013 amateur draft and made his big league debut in 2016, homering in his first at-bat.

A year later, he was one of baseball’s breakout stars. He hit .284 with 52 homers and 114 RBIs in 2017, winning the AL Rookie of the Year award. The four-time All-Star has 220 homers and 497 RBIs in seven big league seasons.