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Big Names Rejecting Qualifying Offers

Qualifying Offers Ken/Via Flickr


Big Names Reject Qualifying Offers

The Free agent market is about to become interesting as we see big names rejecting their qualifying offers.  A qualifying offer is a one-year, 17.2 million contract.  If a player accepts the qualifying offer, he commits to staying with his current team through the 2017 season for that designated salary.  There have been 10 players who received qualifying offers and only 2 of the 10 accepted theirs.  The Phillies righty Jeremy Hellickson and the Mets second baseman Neil Walker.  That leaves 8 big names that are looking to shop around and see what other offers they can land.

These players declined their offers:

Justin Turner, 3B, Dodgers- Turner will be sought after by many teams looking to shore up the hot corner for a several years.  He is one of the elite hitters in baseball and is in his early 30’s.  It is rumored that the Dodgers, Giants, Braves and Cardinals might be interested in signing Turner to a lengthy contract.


Yoenis Cespedes, OF, Mets- Cespedes opted out of the final two years of a $47.5 million contract last winter with the Mets, and he is looking to see who will pay for his skills.  He was a spark for the Mets at the trade-deadline in 2015 and has proven to be a productive player since. Cespedes is looking for a 5-year deal and there are several teams that should be interested.  The Dodgers, Giants, Cardinals, Astros, Blue Jays and Nationals may be willing to offer the 5-years he is asking for.


Edwin Encarnacion, DH/1B, Blue Jays- Encarnacion could be a key piece to some team out there who is lacking in power numbers.  Encarnacion has hit at least 34 homers in each of the past five seasons and is coming off one of his best seasons too.  In 2016 he hit 42 home runs and drove in 127 runs also.  He is looking for a 5-6 year deal.  The Blue Jays are still in the hunt, but the Red Sox, Yankees and Astros might be looking his way too.


Dexter Fowler, OF, Cubs-  For the 2nd straight year Dexter Fowler has turned down a qualifying offer from the Chicago Cubs.  It is unlikely that he will return to Chicago next season, but the Cubs will still make a run at him and see where it leads.  Other teams that will be looking at Fowler are the Cardinals, Mets, Astros and the Mariners.  However, you can expect some other teams to take a look at Fowler to fill two very important spots on their roster, Lead-off hitter and Center-field are always in high demand.


Ian Desmond, SS/OF, Rangers- Desmond will be a very sought after player this winter too.  He is coming off a season where he transitioned from shortstop to outfield and hit .285 with 22 homers, 86 RBI and 21 stolen bases.  teams were impressed with his ability to transition to the outfield and with the numbers he put up he should get a number of offers.  The Rangers will still be in the mix along with the Cardinals, Astros and his old team the Nationals too.


Jose Bautista, OF, Blue Jays- Bautista is coming from an injury plagued season in which he spent two stints on the DL.  His numbers were down for 2016, but he is still will draw interest around baseball.  The Blue Jays are considering making him an offer, but they must decide between he and Encarnacion.  The Astros, Orioles, Yankees, Royals, Rays and Mets all could be teams that show interest in Bautista.  Look for him to land a multi-year contract somewhere besides Toronto this winter.


Kenley Jansen, RP, Dodgers- Jansen is one of the most coveted closers on the market this winter.  This is expected to be a big off-season for closers.  Jansen will see offers from a number of teams.  The Dodgers will do everything they can to resign him, but the Giants, Nationals, Cubs, Yankees and a number of other teams will be taking a look at signing him.


Mark Trumbo, OF, Orioles- Trumbo is coming off a season where he led the Majors with 47 home runs for the Orioles.  He also set career highs in RBI with 108 and a slugging percentage of .533.  He will probably land in the American League because he is an average defense player.  Some teams that will be taking a look at him are Toronto, Boston, Yankees, Royals and expect Baltimore to make a new offer too.


Where these players end up this off-season will hinge on the need for teams around baseball.  The Winter will be interesting for Major League Baseball as we will definitely see some of these players land on new teams to start the 2017 season.