MLB’s qualifying offer will reportedly be $17.2 million, up from $15.8 million last year
According to a report from Ken Rosenthal that was confirmed by Jon Heyman, Joel Sherman and Eric Fisher, the qualifying offer for free agents this year will be $17.2 million. Rosenthal reported the qualifying offer system is expected to remain in place under the new CBA but with “possible adjustments.”
Rosenthal did not expound on what the possible adjustments could be.
Eric Fisher reported the nature of the qualifying offer is “still subject to change” and is part of the negotiations in the new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement). Fisher indicated that if the “current system stays intact, $17.2 million is the number.” The qualifying offer “is a one-year deal worth the average of the top 125 salaries in Major League Baseball.”
The $17.2 million qualifying offer would be an increase of $1.4 million from last year and $1.9 million more than the $15.3 million qualifying offer in 2014.
Teams have until five days after the conclusion of the World Series to make qualifying offers to their eligible free agents.
For the first time under the current system, three players accepted qualifying offers last year … Brett Anderson (Dodgers), Colby Rasmus (Astros) and Matt Wieters (Orioles).
According to Joel Sherman, one change to the qualifying offer that is being discussed is a team would be able to make a qualifying offer to a player only one time and “no player could get tagged with a qualifying offer in successive years.” Another possibility could be the team would not lose a draft pick for a signing a player that received a qualifying offer in successive years.
Buster Olney reported earlier in the season that the qualifying offer would be around $16.7 million. Olney was $500,000 off from what it appears it will be.
The Cubs are expected to make a qualifying offer to Dexter Fowler. It is unclear if Fowler has language in his contract that would prevent the Cubs from making him a qualifying offer for the second straight year.
Fowler re-signed with the Cubs in February after spending the off-season dealing with the issue of draft pick compensation hanging over him. Fowler signed a one-year, $13 million contract that includes a $9 million mutual option for the 2017 season. Fowler’s salary for the 2016 season was actually $8 million, the buyout on the mutual option is $5 million … that’s the $13 million guaranteed for one season.
Dexter Fowler is expected to decline his part of the mutual option and become a free agent in November. Fowler loves playing for the Cubs and has had a good year, even with missing a chunk of the season. The Cubs and Fowler will address his future with the team after the playoff run.