NEW YORK (AP) - The price of qualifying offers for Major League Baseball free agents will be $17.2 million this year.
The figure, announced Thursday, is up 8.9 percent from $15.8 million last year. It was determined by the average of the top 125 major league contracts this year by average annual value.
Among the potential free agents are outfielders Yoenis Cespedes, Jose Bautista, Mark Trumbo, Josh Reddick and Ian Desmond; first baseman Edwin Encarnacion; catcher Matt Wieters; and closers Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon.
A qualifying offer can be made through the fifth day after the World Series, and a player has a week after that to accept. If a team makes a qualifying offer to a player who signs a major league contract with another club before the June amateur draft, his former club would receive a draft pick as compensation at the end of the first round.
The club signing the player loses its first-round pick in the amateur draft, unless that pick is among the top 10, in which case the club doing the signing loses its next-highest pick.
None of the 34 qualifying offers was accepted in the first three years of baseball’s current collective bargaining agreement, but Colby Rasmus (Houston), Wieters (Baltimore) and Brett Anderson (Los Angeles Dodgers) accepted among the 20 players who received offers last year.
The qualifying offer figure was $15.3 million in 2014, $14.1 million in 2013 and $13.3 million in 2012.
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