MLB free agency fully opened on Thursday, with players free to negotiate contracts with any team after an exclusive five-day window for incumbent clubs.
That also coincided with the deadline for eligible free agents to be extended the $19.65 million qualifying offer for 2023. The Los Angeles Dodgers did so with Tyler Anderson and Trea Turner but not Clayton Kershaw.
Turner was an obvious candidate to receive the qualifying offer, while Anderson was considered likely. Kershaw’s outlook was less clear, but he reportedly has agreed to re-sign with the Dodgers on a one-year contract.
Overall, 14 free agents were extended the qualifying offer, the same as last offseason. Players now have until Tuesday, November 15, to accept or decline the one-year contract for next season.
Heading into this offseason, only 11 of the 110 players who had been extended a qualifying offer accepted it. Brett Anderson did so with the Dodgers in 2016 and Hyun-Jin Ryu in 2019.
Players Receiving Qualifying Offers
Atlanta Braves: Dansby Swanson
The former first-overall pick in 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 would be no surprise if the Georgia native re-signs with the Atlanta Braves, his 52 home runs over the past two seasons, coupled with new career bests in RBI (96) and stolen bases (18) in 2022, make a case for interest from multiple teams, including the Dodgers.
Chicago Cubs: Willson Contreras
While many expected Willson Contreras to be moved by 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.
Having spent all seven years in the Major Leagues with Chicago, the now 30-year-old backstop has amassed a .256 batting average and 117 home runs with the organization.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Tyler Anderson
After signing with Los Angeles in the spring on a one-year contract worth $8 million, no one could have predicted Anderson would have such a breakout 2022 season.
The left-hander dazzled all year long as the 32-year-old set new career bests in wins (15-5), ERA (2.57), and innings pitched (178.2). Anderson also earned his first All-Star Game nod and has plenty of offseason interest already brewing.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Trea Turner
Joining Swanson in the superstar shortstop category, Turner is one of the most sought-after free agents this offseason. While many have begun to speculate Turner’s free agency interest, the two-time All-Star’s .298 batting average in 2022 was the second-highest amongst all shortstops.
Turner also set new career highs this season in RBI (100) and doubles (39).
San Francisco Giants: Joc Pederson
At age 30, Joc Pederson enters the free-agent market for the second year after batting for decent numbers with the San Francisco Giants. In a season that also saw his second-career All-Star Game selection, a new career-best .274 batting average with 23 home runs and 74 RBI in 134 games make him an outfield option for many clubs.
San Francisco Giants: Carlos Rodón
After opting out of the final season of a two-year, $44 million contract with the Giants, Rodón is considered one of the most impactful free-agent pitchers at 29.
Although injuries plagued Rodón before 2021 in his time with the Chicago White Sox, a 27-13 record and 2.67 ERA over the last two seasons have quelled doubts about the left-hander’s ability.
New York Mets: Chris Bassitt
For the first time in his career, Chris Bassitt hits the free-agent market at 33. After a stellar first season with the New York Mets, where he delivered a 3.42 ERA across 181.2 IP while making 30 starts, the right-hander will surely be a rotation stronghold for any interested team.
The right-hander has compiled a 3.31 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in over 546 innings since 2019.
New York Mets: Jacob deGrom
Perhaps the biggest pitching free agent this offseason, Jacob deGrom, enters free agency for the first time in his already-strong career at 34. While injuries across the last two seasons could have teams treading lightly on a long-term deal for the ace, the two-time Cy Young Award winner displayed a 3.08 ERA, and 0.75 WHIP across 11 starts to close out 2022.
New York Mets: Brandon Nimmo
In addition to vastly improving his defensive abilities across the last two seasons, Brandon Nimmo has quietly become one of the most consistent hitters in all of baseball and will continue the trend in 2022.
With a .826 career on-base plus slugging percentage, the 29-year-old collected a career-high 64 RBI this season, while his .437 on-base percentage aided 102 runs scored.
Texas Rangers: Martín Perez
Now a free agent for the fifth consecutive offseason, Martín Perez looks to find a multi-year suitor with what could be a lengthy contract for the left-hander. Across an impressive 32 starts this season, he went 12-8 with a 2.89 ERA. Perez’s 0.50 home runs allowed per nine innings was the second-best in the American League.
Boston Red Sox: Xander Bogaerts
The four-time All-Star opted out of his six-year, $120 contract with the Boston Red Sox to test the open market, and for a good reason: Bogaerts .307 batting average in 2022 was the best amongst all AL shortstops. The career .292 hitter has been with the Red Sox since making his MLB debut in 2013.
Boston Red Sox: Nathan Eovaldi
The 2021 All-Star is a free agent after completing a four-year, $68 million contract with the Red Sox. The 32-year-old Eovaldi, who had a decent 2022 (20 starts, 3.87 ERA, 109.1 IP), will look for his outstanding 2021 season of a 3.75 ERA across 32 starts to carry his worth as he searches for another sizable deal.
New York Yankees: Aaron Judge
Arguably the player who will dictate free agency this offseason, Aaron Judge, is on the open market for the first time in his career. The four-time All-Star (who might be just days away from his first MVP Award) has had offseason rumors already swirling.
At 30, Judge’s 1.111 OPS and 131 RBI in 2022 are just two of the staggering statistical feats he accomplished.
New York Yankees: Anthony Rizzo
After opting out of the final season of his two-year, $32 million contract with the New York Yankees, the 33-year-old Rizzo figures to have plenty of interested teams for his powerful lefty bat and quality defense. With the fourth-best OPS (.818) amongst all AL first basemen in 2022, Rizzo’s 32 home runs tied for the most he’s hit in a single season (previously accomplished in 2014, 2016, and 2017).
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