A qualifying offer is a one-year deal worth the mean salary of MLB’s 125-highest-paid players. That value changes every season. This year, the value for the qualifying offer is $18.4 million.
If Seager or Taylor accept the qualifying offer, they would be considered a signed player for 2022 and make $18.4 million. If they reject it, they can sign with any team, including the Dodgers. If Seager or Taylor decide to reject the offer and sign with another team, the Dodgers would receive a compensatory pick in next year’s MLB Draft.
Seager is fully expected to decline the offer given that he’ll be one of the top free agents in this year’s class. The 27-year-old shortstop will surely make more than $18.4 million per year in his next contract. He’ll also get multiple guaranteed years. The Dodgers will continue their negotiations with Seager as they would like to bring him back.
The decision to extend an offer to Taylor was one the Dodgers wrestled with over the last couple of weeks. The 31-year-old will be a priority for many teams in free agency. With his performance in 2021 and throughout the postseason, he likely earned a multiyear deal at a good price. Because of that, Taylor could be inclined to decline the offer and test the open market. The Dodgers will continue their dialogue with the All-Star.
Another player who was eligible to receive a qualifying offer was left-hander Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers decided not to extend the offer, but that doesn’t change the club’s interest in bringing back the future Hall of Famer.
Kershaw, 33, is an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career. He’s also recovering from a left forearm injury that ended his season. Kershaw received a PRP shot in October and hopes to be ready by Spring Training.
As he recovers, Kershaw will have a decision to make about his future this winter. The left-hander could opt to retire if he doesn’t feel like he can get healthy enough to deliver the type of performances he has grown accustomed to. He could also choose to sign with a team closer to his Dallas-area home, primarily the Rangers. Kershaw has said that his decision will be made in conjunction with his wife, Ellen, and the rest of his family.
One thing is certain, however: If Kershaw ultimately decides he wants to return to the Dodgers, the team is fully prepared to make every effort to bring him back. But at this stage of the offseason, given Kershaw’s rehab process, the Dodgers didn’t want to force Kershaw to make a decision on a qualifying offer. Not attaching a compensatory pick also makes it easier for Kershaw to sign elsewhere, if that’s what he chooses.
Though injuries ended his season, Kershaw showed that he’s still very productive as a Major League starter. The left-hander went 10-8 with a 3.55 ERA in 22 starts this season.