The offseason has begun for the Los Angeles Dodgers as they turn their focus on trying to build a second World Series winner in three years. L.A. currently has 12 players who are free agents, including multiple franchise cornerstones, which leaves them with plenty of work this offseason.
One of the first steps of the offseason was to extend qualifying offers to any of their eligible free agents. Players could only be extended the one-year contract if they spent the entire year with the club and have not received it in previous seasons.
For the Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager and Chris Taylor were the prime candidates to be extended a qualifying offer ahead of Sunday’s deadline.
Taylor, who has reached free agency for the first time in his career, was extended the pact and like Seager, declined it, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan:
Final tally for the one-year, $18.4M qualifying offer, per sources:
Accepted: Brandon Belt.
Rejected: Nick Castellanos, Michael Conforto, Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman, Raisel Iglesias, Robbie Ray, Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Trevor Story, Chris Taylor, Justin Verlander.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 17, 2021
If Taylor accepted, he would have been signing a one-year contract worth $18.4 million for the 2022 season. But now if he signs with another team, the Dodgers will get a compensation pick for the 2022 MLB Draft and the signing team would lose a selection.
Taylor can still decide to re-sign with the Dodgers despite declining the offer. He — and others — had until 2 p.m. PT on Wednesday to accept or reject it.
It was unlikely Taylor would sign the qualifying offer as he will be looking at multi-year deals that could end up around $100 million.
At 31 years old and coming off his first All-Star Game selection with a strong playoff performance, this will likely be Taylor’s best chance to cash in on a big contract.
In his career, Taylor has hit .261/.337/.443 with a 111 wRC+ and 14.5 WAR across 743 games played.
The Dodgers reportedly considered offering an extension to the utilityman earlier in the season, but it is unclear if they did end up presenting it to him.
Taylor has loved playing for Dodgers
While Taylor is free to sign with any club he chooses to, potentially remaining with the Dodgers appears to carry some weight.
“It’s been a lot of fun playing with these guys,” he said after the team was eliminated in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. “I’ve loved every minute of it. Definitely disappointed, but it’s been a joy to be part of this team.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen. All I can say is I’ve loved every minute I’ve been a Dodger. I have no idea what’s going to happen this offseason, but the last five seasons I’ve been here, it’s been amazing. I’m so thankful I’ve had the opportunity to play for the Dodgers.”
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