Qualifying offers for 2017 set at $17.4 million
The qualifying offer for 2017 free agents has been set at $17.4 million, a source has confirmed to MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi. That represents a $200,000 increase from the 2016 figure of $17.2 million. Each year's qualifying offer amount is set at the mean salary of the highest-paid 125 players in the game.
The qualifying offer is a competitive balance measure that was first implemented with the 2012-16 Collective Bargaining Agreement between Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. It was restructured in the 2017-21 CBA.
Each club may make a qualifying offer to its pending free agents. A free agent who receives a qualifying offer has 10 days to decide whether to accept or reject the offer, during which he may negotiate with other teams. If he rejects the offer and signs with another club, the club that loses the player will receive draft pick compensation, and the club that signs the free agent will forfeit one or more selections in the upcoming Draft.
Free agents are eligible to receive a qualifying offer only if (1) they have never before in their careers received a qualifying offer, and (2) they were on the club's roster for the entire previous season (in-season acquisitions are not eligible).The draft pick compensation received by the team that loses the free agent depends on whether the club exceeded the luxury tax in the previous season, as well as whether the club received revenue sharing the previous season.
• If the team that loses a free agent after making a qualifying offer neither exceeded the luxury tax threshold nor received revenue sharing in the previous season, that team's draft pick compensation would land after Competitive Balance Round B (after the second round) of the following Draft.
• If the team that loses the free agent did exceed the luxury tax threshold the previous season, that team's compensatory pick would come after the fourth round of the Draft.
• If the team that loses the free agent was a revenue-sharing recipient the previous season, based on its revenues and market size, and if and only if the player it lost signs with another club for at least $50 million, that team's compensatory pick would land between the first round and Competitive Balance Round A of the 2018 MLB Draft. If the player signs for less than $50 million, the team that lost the player would receive draft pick compensation after Competitive Balance Round B.
The penalty for clubs that sign players who reject qualifying offers is also dependent on whether they went over the luxury tax threshold or received revenue sharing the previous season (first-round and Competitive Balance selections are completely exempt from forfeiture; under the previous CBA, only the top 10 picks in the first round were exempt):
• A team that neither exceeded the luxury tax threshold nor received revenue sharing the previous season would forfeit its second-highest pick after the first round, along with $500,000 from its international bonus pool.
• A team that exceeded the luxury tax threshold would forfeit its second- and fifth-highest selections after the first round, as well as $1 million from its international bonus pool.
• A team that was a revenue-sharing recipient the previous season would lose its third-highest pick after the first round.