Wednesday was the deadline for the six players who received qualifying offers by their teams to accept and decline. By accepting the qualifying offer that player would be signing a one-year contract for 2021 at 18.9 million dollars. If the player declines the offer then they would become a free agent. But the team’s losing that player would receive draft pick compensation.
Two Players Accept Qualifying Offers
That both Gausman and Stroman accepted the QO entering their age-30 season — Gausman off of a terrific season — further suggests how financially tough the market will be for free agents this offseason.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) November 11, 2020
Marcus Stroman of the New York Mets and Kevin Gausman of the San Francisco Giants both accepted the qualifying offers made by their respective teams. Ironically both Stroman and Gausman will be 30 years old in the 2021 season. By signing the qualifying offers both players will receive big raises which will be crucial if MLB is forced to have another shortened season. With a 60-game season, every player’s salary was prorated. This also suggests that this season’s free-agent market will be cold after every team reported a loss due to the pandemic.
Gausman earned 9 million dollars in 2020 and pitched very well in his first season in the Bay Area. Gausman went 3-3 with a 3.62 ERA and a 1.106 WHIP. The new contract amounts to nearly a 10 million dollar raise for Gausman. Stroman earned 12 million d0llars in 2020 and he did not pitch at all. In 2019 Stroman went 10-13 with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.307 WHIP with the Mets and the Toronto Blue Jays. Stroman will get a 7 million dollar raise after opting out due to COVID-19.
The Fantastic Four
As expected, George Springer and JT Realmuto both rejected the qualifying offer, per source. Trevor Bauer and DJ LeMahieu had already decided not to accept their QO.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) November 11, 2020
The four players who declined the qualifying offer are considered the crown jewels of this season’s free-agent class. So this is not a coincidence that all four offers were declined. Unlike the two players who accepted, these four players are expected to receive multi-year contracts.
Catcher J.T. Realmuto will be 30 years old when the 2021 season starts. Realmuto is considered the best catcher in the game. In 2020 with the Philadelphia Phillies Realmuto slashed .278/.328/.455 with 11 home runs and 32 RBI in 173 at-bats. For his career, Realmuto is batting .278 with 95 home runs and 358 RBI in 732 games. He is also considered an excellent defensive catcher. Realmuto has expressed a desire to stay in Philadelphia but the Phillies President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail has said he does not expect any big moves made by the club in free agency.
Centerfielder George Springer slashed .265/.359/.540 with the Houston Astros in 2020. Springer hit 14 home runs with 32 RBI in 189 at-bats. Springer who will be 31 when the 2021 season starts also has been a good playoff performer. In 260 postseason at-bats, Springer has hit 19 home runs with 38 RBI and 43 runs scored. Springer for his career is batting .270 with 174 home runs and 458 RBI in 795 games. According to reports, Springer is expected to leave Houston.
Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer is now the reigning National League Cy Young winner after ending Jacob deGrom’s two-year hold on the award. Bauer who will be 30 in 2021 really had a season for the ages–even in a shortened season. Pitching for the Cincinnati Reds Bauer went 5-4 with a 1.73 ERA and a 0.795 WHIP in 11 starts. Bauer also struck out 100 batters in just 73 innings pitched. Bauer topped that by pitching great in his lone start in the playoffs. Pitching against the Atlanta Braves, Bauer went seven and two-thirds innings giving up no runs, two hits, no walks, and 12 strikeouts. For his career, Bauer is 75-64 with a 3.90 ERA and a 1.265 WHIP in 205 games.
DJ LeMahieu of the New York Yankees makes up the last player on this list. LeMahieu is a finalist for the American League MVP for the second year in a row, both as a member of the Yankees. With a slash line of .364/.421/.590, LeMahieu has shown just why he is so valuable to the Yankees. In addition, LeMahieu hit 10 home runs with 27 RBI and scored 41 runs. LeMahieu also led the American League in OBP (.364) and OPS(1.011) and led all of baseball with a .364 batting average. LeMahieu has a career .305 batting average with 85 home runs and 478 RBI with 652 runs in 4,242 at-bats. The Yankees are expected to prioritize bringing back LeMahieu.
Embed from Getty Images