Los Angeles Dodgers extend qualifying offers to Corey Seager, Chris Taylor, but not Clayton Kershaw

ESPN logo
Monday, November 8, 2021

NEW YORK -- The Los Angeles Dodgers have extended qualifying offers to free-agent All-Stars Corey Seager and Chris Taylor, but not Clayton Kershaw.

Seager and Taylor were among 14 players offered $18.4 million, one-year qualifying offer deals before the deadline Sunday night. If players reject those offers and sign with another club, their former team is entitled to draft pick compensation.

Kershaw, 33, has spent his entire 14-year career with Los Angeles, winning three Cy Young Awards and the 2020 World Series with the Dodgers. He finished 10-8 with a 3.55 ERA in 22 regular-season starts but missed more than two months rehabbing from inflammation around his forearm and elbow before returning around mid-September.

Kershaw had to exit his Oct. 1 start, however, with a recurrence of the same issue and did not pitch in the postseason. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said at the time that Kershaw's ulnar collateral ligament was intact and that he did not require Tommy John surgery, but the overall health of his left arm is unknown until he resumes throwing this offseason.

The Dodgers still seem intent on figuring out a way to bring Kershaw back for at least the 2022 season, and the decision not to extend a qualifying offer gives both sides more time to figure out his health situation.

Atlanta slugger Freddie Freeman received a qualifying offer from the World Series-winning Braves, while the AL champion Houston Astros extended offers to shortstop Carlos Correa and right-hander Justin Verlander. The latter missed all of 2021 following Tommy John surgery, but the 38-year-old hopes to return next season.

The New York Mets announced Saturday that outfielder Michael Conforto and righty Noah Syndergaard were offered qualifying offers. The Toronto Blue Jays were the only other team with multiple qualifying offers, made to left-hander Robbie Ray and infielder Marcus Semien.

Semien is a free agent for the second consecutive offseason but did not receive a qualifying offer from Oakland last year before signing an $18 million, one-year deal with Toronto. Players can be extended qualifying offers only once in their careers under the collective bargaining agreement, which is set to expire at the end of the month.

Boston left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, Cincinnati outfielder Nick Castellanos, Colorado shortstop Trevor Story, Los Angeles Angels reliever Raisel Iglesias and San Francisco first baseman Brandon Belt rounded out the list of players to receive qualifying offers.

Among the notable free agents who did not receive qualifying offers: Colorado right-hander Jon Gray, Chicago White Sox lefty Carlos Rodon and Giants pitchers Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Wood.

Players have until Nov. 17 to decide if they'll accept. Just 10 of 96 players to receive a qualifying offer have accepted since the system was introduced in 2012.

Also Sunday, designated hitter J.D. Martinez declined to opt out of his contract with the Boston Red Sox, keeping a $19,375,000 salary in the final season of a $110 million, five-year contract.

Boston exercised a $7 million option on catcher Christian Vazquez rather than pay a $250,000 buyout. The Red Sox declined a $6.25 million option on left-hander Martin Perez, choosing to pay a $500,00 buyout, and also turned down a $10 million option on right-handerGarrett Richards, triggering a $1.5 million buyout.

Wade Miley's $10 million option was exercised by the Chicago Cubs, who claimed the left-hander off waivers from theCincinnati Reds on Friday. Houston exercised an $8 million option on first baseman Yuli Gurriel, and Astros reliever Ryan Pressly's option became guaranteed at $10 million based on his pitching in at least 40 games and finishing the season healthy.

OutfielderJackie Bradley Jr.kept his contract with Milwaukee, which calls for a $9.5 million salary next season and includes a $12 million mutual option for 2023 with an $8 million buyout.

Tampa Bay exercised a $7 million option on catcher Mike Zunino. He signed a deal last winter with a $2 million salary for 2021 that included an option originally for $4 million that escalated based on games played.

The Yankees declined a $3 million option on left-handed reliever Joely Rodriguez, who was acquired from Texas in the July trade that brought outfielder Joey Gallo to New York. Rodriguez gets a $500,000 buyout.

San Francisco exercised its option on right-hander Jay Jackson, which calls for a $1.5 million salary in the major leagues and a $250,000 salary while in the minors.

ESPN's Alden Gonzalez and The Associated Press contributed to this report.