Giants first baseman Brandon Zone was the only one of the fourteen players labeled with the one-year, $ 18.4MM qualifying offer this offseason to accept the deal, reports Mark Feinsand of MLB.com (Twitter link). That means players like it Justin Verlander, Freddie Freeman and Robbie Ray all rejected the offers as planned.
Verlander was the only one of the aforementioned trio who ever looked like a realistic chance to accept the QO, as he exits a season lost to Tommy John surgical recovery and turns 39 years old in February. Astros owner Jim Crane told reporters last month that Verlander was looking for a contract “of some length,” however, and early interest in the future Hall of Fame appears to be robust. It seems likely that the two-time Cy Young awardee will be able to find a multi-year deal, even with draft selection compensation attached.
Freeman and Ray, meanwhile, made the very easy call to turn the QO on. They’re among the best players in this year’s class, and everyone is likely to get a five- or six-year deal that pushes well north of $ 100MM. There was no incentive for both players to distract the possibility of taking a QO, as a decline has no effect on their ability to continue negotiating a longer-term arrangement with their current clubs.
More will come.