Will Any MLB Free Agents Accept Their Qualifying Offers?
After the Houston Astros won the World Series, the MLB offseason is underway. At the start of every offseason, eligible free agents are given qualifying offers by the teams they may possibly depart.
This offseason’s qualifying offer is $19.65 million. 14 players received qualifying offers, including Jacob deGrom, Aaron Judge, Xander Bogaerts, Dansby Swanson, Trea Turner, and Carlos Rodon. Most of those players will decline their qualifying offers, but some other players could consider accepting the offer before the decision deadline of November 20.
Anthony Rizzo signed a two-year, $32 million dollar contract with the New York Yankees last offseason, but declined the $16 million player option for next season earlier this week. The Yankees then extended Rizzo a qualifying offer this week.
Rizzo will be 33 next season, and will likely be interested in any team that offers him a multi-year contract this offseason. This season, he batted .224/.338/.480 with 32 home runs and 75 RBIs.
Over the next few weeks, Rizzo’s decision regarding the qualifying offer will probably be determined by how he and his agents, Sports One Athlete Management, evaluate his opportunity to receive a multi-year contract.
No matter what, the $19.65 million qualifying offer will exceed the $16 million which was remaining on Rizzo’s contract with the Yankees. In addition, he still has the opportunity to return to a team that won 99 games and the AL East in 2022.
Anderson had a phenomenal MLB year with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season. He was a contender to win the Cy Young award more than halfway through the season and reached his first All-Star game.
This season, the 32-year-old starting MLB pitcher had a 2.57 ERA in 178.2 innings, which were career bests in both categories. As a result, it may seem unlikely that Anderson would be a candidate to accept a qualifying offer.
However, Anderson has only thrown more than 160 MLB innings three times in his career, although two of those three seasons were in 2021 and 2022. In an era where teams are more cautious about long-term contracts for pitchers, Anderson could choose to accept the qualifying offer and return to the Dodgers in 2023.
The qualifying offer situation between Anderson and the Dodgers could be one of the most interesting of the offseason. It could provide an early indication of how MLB teams will approach free-agent starting pitchers over the next few months.
Similarly to Anderson, Perez is a starting pitcher who received a qualifying offer after a career-best season. He has spent all but three seasons of his career as a member of the Texas Rangers.
In 2022, Perez was one of the best pitchers in the American League. He threw 196.1 innings with a 2.89 ERA and a 3.26 FIP. However, Perez has not been an excellent strikeout pitcher throughout his career, and that continued in 2022, with 7.7 strikeouts per nine innings, which is similar to his last few seasons.
Strikeouts are extremely valuable to teams in the current MLB, and that has never been one of Perez’s strengths. He will enter the next season at age 32, and could choose to accept the qualifying offer during the next few days.
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