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The deadline for extending qualifying offers is Monday

Monday’s Say Hey, Baseball recognizes the deadline for a major step in free agency, declined options, and trade rumors.

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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Happy qualifying offer day! Well, the first of two. Monday is the deadline to submit a qualifying offer to a free agent, so the ball is in the team’s court. One week from then, on Nov. 14, any player who has received a qualifying offer has to decide to accept or reject it. Accepting the qualifying offer is a rarity, but that’s a step up from this time a year ago, when every single one had been declined. The pool of players who are eligible to receive the $17.2 million qualifying offer, which is for a one-year deal that grants the player’s former team draft pick compensation should the free agent sign elsewhere, is a little diluted this offseason thanks to in-season trades. Still, though, there are plenty of hitters to pay attention to. Pitchers? Not so much.

The Blue Jays will submit qualifying offers to Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista. Now that Dexter Fowler declined his half of a mutual option with the Cubs, he’ll be given the qualifying offer, as well. Ian Desmond seems like a lock to get one for the second year in a row. Yoenis Cespedes opting-out means he’ll get one, even if it’s the only offer the Mets make on him this winter. Mark Trumbo is sure to get one after leading the league in homers, Justin Turner for his last three years hitting for the Dodgers, and Neil Walker thanks to a strong 2016 with the Mets. Kenley Jansen might be the only obvious choice among pitchers, though, there’s an argument to be made about Jeremy Hellickson for his strong (and surprising) 2016.

Teams have until 5 p.m. ET on Monday to officially submit qualifiers to the above, and maybe a few more players. Once we know who has a qualifying offer, we’ll know who will require draft pick compensation to sign, and that will help the market sort itself out as dollars and surrendered draft picks combine to gauge a free agent’s value to potential new teams. Of course, we’ll still have to wait another week to see who is just going to accept the offer, and who will actually enter free agency.