Blue Jays sluggers Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista lead a group of 10 potential MLB free agents who received qualifying offers before the 5 p.m. ET deadline on Monday.
Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler, Phillies pitcher Jeremy Hellickson, Dodgers pitcher Kenley Jansen, Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, Mets second baseman Neil Walker, Rangers outfielder Ian Desmond, and Orioles outfielder Mark Trumbo also received qualifying offers from their respective teams.
This season, the qualifying offer is a one-year contract worth $17.2 million. The value is calculated using the top 125 MLB salaries from the previous season. Each player will have one week to decide whether to accept the qualifying offer or hit free agency.
If a team loses a player who was tendered a qualifying offer, it will receive a supplemental first-round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. Any team that signs a player who declined a qualifying offer must give up their highest unprotected pick in the upcoming draft. The top 10 picks each year are protected.
There are some big names on this list who will likely decline the offers. Encarnacion and Bautista in particular should be two of the biggest names on the free agent market. Encarnacion has averaged 39 home runs per season over the past five years. Bautista only hit 22 home runs in 2016, but he still churns out walks and is only one year removed from a 40-homer campaign.
Last offseason, three players accepted the qualifying offer for the first time since the system was implemented. Of the 20 players who got offers, the Dodgers’ Brett Anderson, the Orioles’ Matt Wieters, and the Astros’ Colby Rasmus all took the one-year, $15.8 million offer instead of opting for free agency.