The free MLB agency opened fully Thursday, and players can negotiate deals with any team after an exclusive five-day window for established clubs.
This also coincided with the deadline for eligible free agents to extend the qualifying $19.65 million offer for 2023. The Los Angeles Dodgers did this with Tyler Anderson and Trea Turner, but not Clayton Kershaw.
Turner was an obvious candidate for the qualifying bid, while Anderson was considered likely. Kershaw’s prospects were less clear, but he has reportedly agreed to sign a one-year contract with the Dodgers.
In total, 14 free agent qualification offers have been extended – the same total as last offseason. Players now have until Tuesday, November 15th to accept or decline the one-year deal for next season.
Heading into this offseason, only 11 of the 110 players who had a qualifying offer extended accepted it. Brett Anderson did this with the Dodgers for 2016 and Hyun-Jin Ryu for 2019.
Players who received a qualifying offer of $19.65 million
Atlanta Braves: Dansby Swanson
The former first overall pick of the 2015 MLB Draft is a free agent for the first time in his career. Dansby Swanson is part of an elite group of free-agent shortstops looking to land a lucrative deal this winter.
While it wouldn’t come as a surprise if the Georgia native re-signed with the Atlanta Braves, his 52 home runs over the past two seasons, coupled with new career bests at RBI (96) and stolen bases (18) in 2022, speak for themselves Interest from several teams including the Dodgers.
Chicago Cubs: Willson Contreras
While many expected Willson Contreras to be transferred from the Chicago Cubs at this year’s trade deadline, he instead finished the season with the team and is now a free agent for the first time.
After spending all seven years in the major leagues with Chicago, the now 30-year-old backstop has amassed a .256 batting average and 117 homers with the organization.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Tyler Anderson
After signing a one-year deal worth $8 million with Los Angeles in the spring, no one could have predicted that Anderson would have such a breakout season in 2022.
The left-hander shone all year as the 32-year-old set new career bests in record (15-5), ERA (2.57) and innings (178.2). Anderson also received the first All-Star Game nod and already has plenty of interest for the offseason.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Trea Turner
Turner joins Swanson in the superstar shortstop category and is one of the most in-demand free agents this offseason. While many have begun to speculate about Turner’s free-agency interest, the two-time All-Star’s .298 batting average in 2022 was the second-highest among all shortstops.
Turner also set new career bests in RBI (100) and doubles (39) this season.
San Francisco Giants: Joc Pederson
At the age of 30, Joc Pederson is entering the free agent market for the second year in a row after putting up decent numbers with the San Francisco Giants. In a season that also saw his second career All-Star Game selection, a new career-high .274 with 23 homers and 74 RBI in 134 games makes him an option for many clubs outfield.
San Francisco Giants: Carlos Rodon
After stepping out of a two-year, $44 million contract with the Giants last season, Rodón is considered one of the most influential free-agent pitchers at the age of 29.
Although Rodón was plagued by injuries during his pre-2021 stint with the Chicago White Sox, a 27-13 record and 2.67 ERA over the past two seasons have dispelled any doubts about the left-hander’s abilities.
New York Mets: Chris Bassitt
For the first time in his career, Chris Bassitt is entering the free agent market at the age of 33. After a stellar first season with the New York Mets, in which he delivered a 3.42 ERA over 181.2 IP in 30 starts, he was the right-hander and will surely be a rotation hotspot for any team interested.
Impressively, the right-hander has compiled a 3.31 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in over 546 innings since 2019.
New York Mets: Jacob de Grom
Perhaps the biggest pitching free agent this offseason, Jacob deGrom is entering free agency at age 34 for the first time in his already strong career. While injuries over the past two seasons could mean teams are taking lightly a long-term contract for the ace, the two-time Cy Young Award winner posted a 3.08 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP over 11 Starts until the end of 2022.
New York Mets: Brandon Nimmo
Not only has Brandon Nimmo improved his defensive skills significantly over the past two seasons, he has quietly become one of the most consistent hitters in all of baseball, continuing the trend in 2022.
With a career .826 on-base plus slugging percentage, the 29-year-old amassed a career-high 64 RBI this season while his .437 on-base percentage aided 102 runs scored.
Texas Rangers: Martin Perez
Now a free agent for the fifth straight season, Martín Perez is looking for a multi-year suitor with a potentially long contract for the left-hander. In an impressive 32 starts this season, he went 12-8 with a 2.89 ERA. Perez’s .50 allowed home runs per nine innings was the second best in the American League.
Boston Red Sox: Xander Bogaerts
The four-time All-Star canceled his six-year, $120 contract with the Boston Red Sox to test the open market, and with good reason: Bogaert’s .307 batting average in 2022 was the best of any AL shortstop. The .292 career hitter has been with the Red Sox since his MLB debut in 2013.
Boston Red Sox: Nathan Eovaldi
The 2021 All-Star is a free agent after inking a four-year, $68 million deal with the Red Sox. 32-year-old Eovaldi, who had a decent year in 2022 (20 starts, 3.87 ERA, 109.1 IP), will be looking to carry his value throughout after his great 2021 season with a 3.75 ERA across 32 starts he’s looking for another sizeable deal.
New York Yankees: Aaron Richter
Aaron Judge is arguably the player who will really dictate the free hand this offseason and is on the open market for the first time in his career. The four-time All-Star (who may be just days away from his first MVP award) has had rumors floating around offseason.
At age 30, Judge’s 1,111 OPS and 131 RBI in 2022 are just two of the amazing statistical feats he has accomplished.
New York Yankees: Anthony Rizzo
After giving up the final season of his two-year, $32 million contract with the New York Yankees, Rizzo, 33, believes he has many interested teams for his strong left hitter and quality defense. With the fourth-best OPS (.818) among all AL first basemen in 2022, Rizzo’s 32 home runs were the most he has scored in a single season (previously in 2014, 2016 and 2017).
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