Shohei Ohtani (Japan), one of the “biggest names” in Major League Baseball (MLB) free agency, has been offered a qualifying offer (QO).
According to MLB.com and ESPN, a total of seven players have been offered QOs, including Ohtani.굿모닝토토
Introduced in 2012, the QO is a system in which an original club offers a free agent a one-year contract at the average salary of the top 125 highest-paid players. This year’s QO amount is $23.25 million (KRW2.65 billion), up $675,000 from last year.
It is unlikely that Ohtani will accept the QO, as it is usually taken by players who believe the market is against them. Ohtani, who underwent right elbow surgery last month, is still expected to sign a mega-contract worth more than $500 million.
In addition to Ohtani, starters Aaron Nola (Philadelphia Phillies), Blake Snell (San Diego Padres) and Sonny Gray (Minnesota Twins), reliever Josh Hader (San Diego), third baseman Matt Chapman (Toronto Blue Jays) and utility Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs) are on the list. They have until 4 p.m. local time on April 14 to decide whether to accept the QO.
Ryu Hyun-jin (Toronto Blue Jays) is not eligible for the QO as he can only be offered it once during his career.
Ryu received a $17.9 million QO in 2019 and played one more year with the Los Angeles Dodgers before becoming a free agent after the 2019 season and signing a four-year, $80 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.