Judge, Díaz, Turner among 131 free agents after the series ended

Aaron Judge, Edwin Díaz, Trea Turner, Dansby Swanson and Xander Bogaerts were among the 131 players who became free agents Sunday as baseball’s business season began just hours after the World Series Finals.

They will be joined over the next few days by Justin Verlander, Jacob deGrom and Carlos Rodón, among the 56 players whose contracts include options that must be decided within five days of the conclusion of the World Series. All three pitchers are expected to decline player options, as will shortstop Carlos Correa and first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

Clayton Kershaw, Willson Contreras, Brandon Nimmo, Kenley Jansen, Nathan Eovaldi, Josh Bell and Andrew Benintendi also went off Sunday.

Some players, like Mets pitcher Chris Bassitt, have contracts with mutual options to be decided. Approximately 55 additional players may be eligible for free agency based on option decision.

Players can start negotiations on economic terms on Friday. The judge in April rejected a contract offer from the New York Yankees that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-2029. He hit an AL record with 62 homers, finished leading the major leagues with 131 RBIs, and finished second in the AL with a .311 batting average.

Teams have until Thursday to make qualifying offers of $19.65 million to their former players-turned-free agents. A free agent can only be made a qualifying offer if they have been with the same team continuously since opening day and have never previously received a qualifying offer. A player must accept by November 20th.

If a team makes a qualifying offer to a player who will sign a major league contract with another club before next year’s amateur draft, his former club will receive a draft pick as compensation at the end of the first round or at the end of the competitive balance sheet round B. Placement is dependent on the size of the new contract and the revenue share and luxury tax status of the team that loses the player.

Qualifying offers began after the 2012 season, and only eight of 110 offers were accepted. Of the 14 players who received offers last year, only San Francisco first baseman Brandon Belt accepted.

Major League Baseball last winter offered to drop qualifying offers and a direct draft-pick indemnity, and March’s lockout agreement tied the proposal to the players’ association agreeing to an international amateur draft. The union rejected the draft in July.

Rather than becoming free agents, St. Louis Cardinals stars Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina went on the voluntary retirement list.

Washington left-hander Sean Doolittle became the first free agent to reach an agreement and maintain a minor-league contract with the Nationals. Doolittle made his last of his six appearances this year on April 19 and underwent surgery in July to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, an internal brace operation less serious than Tommy John’s surgery.

Reporting by The Associated Press.


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