Sources: Shohei Ohtani among 7 to receive qualifying offer

ByAlden Gonzalez ESPN logo
Tuesday, November 7, 2023

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Seven of Major League Baseball's most highly sought-after free agents were extended qualifying offers ahead of Monday's deadline, a list headlined by Los Angeles Angels two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani.

Others receiving the qualifying offer include starting pitchers Aaron Nola (Philadelphia Phillies), Blake Snell (San Diego Padres) and Sonny Gray (Minnesota Twins), third baseman Matt Chapman (Toronto Blue Jays), reliever Josh Hader (Padres) and center fielder/first baseman Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs), sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan. The qualifying offer is currently valued at $20.325 million.

The players have until 4 p.m. ET on Nov. 14 to decide whether to return to their prior teams on a one-year deal for the value of the qualifying offer -- calculated annually based on the mean salary of the sport's 125 highest-paid players -- or venture into the free agent market. Teams that sign free agents who rejected the qualifying offer must also give up draft-pick compensation and might also lose international bonus pool money, a circumstance that has had little to no impact on the top free agents but has limited the market for middle-tier players in the past.

Teams that exceeded the competitive balance tax in 2023 and sign a player tied to the qualifying offer will lose their second- and fifth-highest selections for the upcoming draft and will be docked $1 million from their international bonus pool. Revenue-sharing recipients lose their third-highest draft picks. The rest lose their second-highest draft picks and are docked $500,000 from their international bonus pool.

Teams that lose players who rejected the qualifying offer are rewarded draft picks in a similar fashion. Those that exceeded the competitive balance tax the prior season receive a draft pick after the fourth round. Those that are a recipient of revenue sharing get a draft pick between Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A if the player signs elsewhere for at least $50 million and after Competitive Balance Round B if he signs for less than $50 million. The rest receive a draft pick after Competitive Balance Round B.

Seattle Mariners outfielder Teoscar Hernandez, Miami Marlins outfielder Jorge Soler, Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins and Texas Rangers designated hitter Mitch Garver were among those not extended the qualifying offer. Players can be given the qualifying offer only once in their careers and are eligible only if they spent the entire prior season on the same team; those who were acquired before the trade deadline don't qualify.

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