Qualifying offers: Who got one; who didn't?

Deadline to extend 1-year, $17.4M contract has passed

November 6th, 2017

Major League Baseball's free-agent signing period has officially begun, and teams had until 5 p.m. ET on Monday to extend their prospective free agents a qualifying offer. For 2018, the qualifying offer is a one-year contract worth $17.4 million (the amount is the mean salary of MLB's 125 highest-paid players). Players who received a qualifying offer have 10 days -- until Nov. 16 -- to accept or reject the offer.

If a player accepts a qualifying offer, like then-Phillies right-hander and then-Mets second baseman did last offseason, he remains with his club at the designated salary, becoming eligible for free agency again next offseason.

New qualifying offer rules explained

Players who decline the offer enter free agency but have Draft-pick compensation attached to them. If such a player signs with another team, the team that loses him receives a Draft pick the following year, generally following Competitive Balance Round B, which comes after the second round. A team can receive a compensation pick right after the first round if it is among the 16 clubs that receives revenue sharing and the player signs a deal elsewhere worth more than $50 million.

On the flip side, the team that signs the player is subject to surrendering one or more Draft picks, although a team's highest pick is exempt from forfeiture.

Under the rules of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, for a player to receive a qualifying offer, he must never have received one previously in his career. He also must have spent the entire season on his current team's roster -- so players who were traded during the 2017 season are not eligible to receive a qualifying offer.

Hot Stove Tracker

So who got one?

Here's a breakdown of the prominent free agents who did and did not receive a qualifying offer. We've divided this list into two sections, leading with players who received a qualifying offer. A list of the most prominent players who did not get an offer is listed below that.


1B/OF , DH, Indians

Cleveland has extended a qualifying offer to Santana, who put up another productive season in the middle of the Indians' order in 2017. Santana has been with the organization since 2008, when he was traded from the Dodgers as a 22-year-old prospect. In Cleveland, he developed into a patient and powerful hitter, and an above-average first baseman after starting his career as a catcher. The 31-year-old's season at the plate in 2017 was typically solid: Santana slashed .259/.363/.455 while posting one of the Majors' best strikeout-to-walk rates. More >

1B , 3B Mike Moustakas and CF , Royals

Kansas City has officially extended qualifying offers to three members of the core that helped lead the franchise to a World Series title in 2015. The 28-year-old Hosmer, who played in all 162 games in 2017, has spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Royals. He enjoyed a career year this past season, hitting .318 with 25 home runs and 94 RBIs.

Moustakas, 29, has also spent the first seven years of his career with Kansas City. In 2017, he established a new franchise home run record for a single season with 38 while racking up a career-high 85 RBIs.

Considered one of the best center fielders in the Majors, the 31-year-old Cain hit .300 with 15 home runs and 49 RBIs in 2017. More >

RHP , Cardinals

The 30-year-old Lynn provided St. Louis' rotation with durability in 2017, posting a 3.43 ERA and racking up 11 wins over 33 starts. The former reliever bounced back well this past season in his return from Tommy John surgery. More >

RHP Alex Cobb, Rays

The Rays extended a qualifying offer to the 30-year-old right-hander, who is a free agent after spending his first six seasons with Tampa Bay. Cobb made 29 starts and went 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 179 1/3 innings in 2017, his second season removed from Tommy John surgery. More >

RHP Greg Holland, Rockies

Colorado struck gold with a one-year deal for Holland last offseason, and the club is open to a reunion after Holland's great bounceback year. The righty finished tied with for the National League lead in saves with 41, and he led the NL in games finished with 58. More >

RHP and RHP , Cubs

The Cubs watched Arrieta evolve from disappointment into an NL Cy Young Award winner after trading for him in 2013. He has given Chicago some of its most memorable moments since then, though 2017 was his least productive season with the club. Davis was integral to the Cubs' NLCS run in 2017, anchoring Chicago's bullpen en route to converting 32 saves in 33 opportunities. More >


LHP , Yankees

If Sabathia does return to the Bronx, it won't be with a $17.4 million salary. The Yankees did not extended a qualifying offer to Sabathia, whom they signed in 2008 to what was then the richest contract for a pitcher in Major League history. Sabathia went 120-73 with a 3.75 ERA over nine seasons in New York, over which he reinvented himself several times. More >

DH , Rays

The 38 home runs Morrison hit this season rank as third most in a single season in Rays history. Morrison has what the Rays look for in a hitter: power, and lots of it. But with home runs so plentiful in 2017, all power production has to be considered relative to its price.

RHP , Rangers

Cashner is set to hit free agency after his first season in Texas. The 31-year-old went 11-11 with a 3.40 ERA in 2017, throwing 166 2/3 innings in 28 starts. More >

SS Zack Cozart, Reds

A source told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon that the Reds are exploring their options, but the Reds did not extend a qualifying offer to Cozart, who is coming off a career year in which he was an All-Star for the first time. Cozart, 32, has battled health issues each of the past three seasons, most recently dealing with a right quad injury in late summer. In all, he missed 40 games in 2017 but still posted a career-best slash line of .297/.385/.548 with a career-high 24 homers. More >