Players who receive a qualifying offer -- a one-year deal valued at the mean salary of MLB’s 125 highest-paid players -- will have until Tuesday at 1 p.m. PT to accept or reject it.
Rodón was an obvious candidate to receive a qualifying offer, but Pederson’s inclusion came as a bit of a surprise. The deal would represent a significant raise from the $6 million Pederson earned in 2022, so there’s a good chance the 30-year-old slugger will accept and return for a second season with his hometown team.
Pederson emerged as San Francisco’s best hitter this past season, leading the club with an .874 OPS and 23 home runs while earning his second career All-Star nod.
Rodón, who became a free agent after opting out of his contract on Sunday, is expected to decline and seek a long-term deal on the free-agent market. By extending him the qualifying offer, the Giants ensured that they’ll receive Draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere.
San Francisco will face stiff competition to re-sign Rodón, who is one of the top free-agent starters after going 14-8 with a 2.88 ERA and 237 strikeouts over a career-high 178 innings in 2022. President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has said he would like to add at least one starter this offseason, ideally another co-ace to pair with Logan Webb at the top of the Giants’ rotation.
“It was obviously really effective for us,” Zaidi told reporters at the GM Meetings in Las Vegas on Wednesday. “One of the disappointments of not making the playoffs is, to have those guys at the front of a playoff rotation, I think we could have made it pretty interesting. We just want to aim as high as we can in that spot.”
Rodón’s dominance would be hard to replace, but the Giants are in pretty good shape when it comes to their overall pitching depth. In addition to Webb, Alex Cobb, Alex Wood, Anthony DeSclafani and Jakob Junis are slated to return next year and should eventually be joined by top pitching prospect Kyle Harrison, who is expected to open the season at Triple-A Sacramento.
Jacob deGrom and Justin Verlander will be among the other elite starters available on the open market this offseason, but the Giants are expected to prioritize adding up-the-middle players who can lengthen their lineup and help shore up their defense.
“We made clear our desire to improve this offseason,” Zaidi said. “We think the primary way for us to do that is to get more athletic and get better defensively. Our defense was a real liability last year. Just from a baseball standpoint, we’re really focused on those areas.”
The Giants have now extended qualifying offers to impending free agents in four consecutive years. Left-handers Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith (2019), right-hander Kevin Gausman ('20) and first baseman Brandon Belt ('21) previously received qualifying offers from San Francisco, though only Gausman and Belt accepted.