- Associated Press - Monday, November 4, 2019

Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon and pitcher Max Scherzer were named finalists for the NL MVP and Cy Young awards, respectively, on Monday.

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced the finalists.

Rendon joined Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger and Milwaukee outfielder Christian Yelich as the top three finalists for NL MVP. Yelich won last year’s NL MVP award with 29 of 30 first-place votes.

Los Angeles Angels outfielder and three-time AL MVP Mike Trout, Houston third baseman Alex Bregman and Oakland shortstop Marcus Semien are finalists in the AL. Trout is seeking his third MVP after winning in 2014 and ‘16. He finished second in 2012, ‘13, ‘15 and ‘18.

Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young winner, is a finalist for the NL’s top pitching prize again. This time, he joins New York Mets ace and 2018 winner Jacob deGrom and the Dodgers‘ Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Houston’s Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander are finalists for the AL Cy Young Award along with Tampa Bay’s Charlie Morton. Verlander won the 2011 Cy Young with Detroit, when he also was voted MVP.

Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, Atlanta right-hander Mike Soroka and San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatís Jr. are finalists for the NL Rookie of the Year. Houston designated hitter Yordan Álvarez, Tampa Bay second baseman Brandon Lowe and Baltimore left-hander John Means are the top candidates in the AL.

The Yankees’ Aaron Boone, Minnesota’s Rocco Baldelli and Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash are finalists for AL Manager of the Year. Atlanta’s Brian Snitker is a finalist to win the NL award for the second straight season, joined by Milwaukee’s Craig Counsell and St. Louis’ Mike Shildt.

Rookies of the Year are announced Nov. 11, followed by Managers of the Year on Nov 12. Cy Youngs are announced Nov. 13 and MVPs on Nov. 14.

Also on Monday, Rendon and fellow National Stephen Strasburg were among the 10 free agents who received $17.8 million qualifying offers from their former teams. 

Strasburg was among the six pitchers to receive the qualifying offers, including lefties Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith (San Francisco), righties Gerit Cole (Houston), Zack Wheeler (New York Mets) and Jake Odorizzi (Minnesota). The others given offers included Rendon, third baseman Josh Donaldson (Atlanta), first baseman José Abreu (Chicago White Sox) and outfielder Marcell Ozuna (St. Louis).

Bumgarner, the 2014 World Series MVP, went 9-9 with a 3.90 ERA over 34 starts this year after two injury-shortened seasons. San Francisco also made a qualifying offer to left-handed reliever Will Smith.

On the day before free agents can start negotiating contracts with all teams, Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez decided to stay in Boston instead of becoming a free agent, declining an option that would have voided the last three years and $62.5 million owed as part of the $110 million, five-year contract he signed after teams had reported to spring training in 2018.

Elvis Andrus is staying with the Rangers after the shortstop passed on a second chance to opt out of his contract, give up $43 million over the next three years and become a free agent.

Milwaukee cut $15 million in payroll for next season, trading right-hander Chase Anderson to Toronto for outfield/first base prospect Chad Spanberger and declining a $7.5 million option on power-hitting first baseman Eric Thames. Anderson was 8-4 with a 4.21 ERA in 27 starts and five relief appearances. Milwaukee had planned to decline his $8.5 million option, which would have made him eligible for salary arbitration, and Toronto exercised the option following the trade.

Pittsburgh exercised options on right-hander Chris Archer ($9 million) and outfielder Starling Marté ($11.5 million), preventing them from becoming free agents.

Among those whose options were declined were Los Angeles Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun, Atlanta right-hander Julio Teheran, Minnesota left-hander Martín Pérez, Philadelphia right-handers Jared Hughes and Pat Neshek, and Phillies left-hander Jason Vargas.

A new team signing a player who turned down the qualifying offer would lose at least one pick in next year’s amateur draft as compensation unless a deal is struck after the draft starts in June. Compensation caused pitchers Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel to wait until after the draft to sign 2019 deals.

Players have until 5 p.m. EST on Nov. 14 to accept.

Qualifying offers began after the 2012 season, and only three of 80 offers have been accepted: New York Mets second baseman Neil Walker and Philadelphia pitcher Jeremy Hellickson after the 2016 season and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu last offseason.

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.

The New York Yankees failed to make a $17.8 million qualifying offer to Didi Gregorius and will not receive draft-pick compensation if the free-agent shortstop signs with another team. Gregorius, who turns 30 in February, came back from Tommy John surgery in early June and hit .238 with 16 homers and 61 RBIs in 82 games. If New York doesn’t re-sign Gregorius, it could move Gleyber Torres from second to shortstop, make DJ LeMahieu the regular second baseman and allocate more payroll to starting pitching.

The price of the qualifying offer is determined by the average of the top 125 major league contracts this year and it dropped by $100,000.

Atlanta declined $6 million options on outfielder Nick Markakis and catcher Tyler Flowers, triggering $2 million buyouts, then agreed to $4 million, one-year contracts with both.

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