NEW YORK (AP) - The price of qualifying offers for Major League Baseball free agents will be $17.9 million this year.
That figure is up from $17.2 million last year and $15.8 million the year before. It was determined by the average of the top 125 major league contracts this year by average annual value.
This year’s anticipated free agent class could include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, Brian Dozier, Daniel Murphy, Michael Brantley, Adam Jones, Andrew McCutchen, A.J. Pollock, Nelson Cruz, Patrick Corbin, Dallas Keuchel, Charlie Morton and Craig Kimbrel. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw could also decide to opt out of the remaining two years on his contract.
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.
A free agent can be made a qualifying offer only if he has been with the same team continuously since opening day and has never received a qualifying offer before.
Qualifying offers began after the 2012 season, and only two of 53 offers have been accepted, including none of 34 in the first three years and none of nine last year. Two of 10 accepted $17.2 million offers after the 2016 season: New York Mets second baseman Neil Walker and Philadelphia pitcher Jeremy Hellickson.
Top free agents prefer to seek multiyear contracts.
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