Two Red Sox pending free agents decline qualifying offers
Tuesday was the deadline for MLB free agents to accept or decline qualifying offers extended to them by their teams last week. The Red Sox gave two of their pending free agents, shortstop Xander Bogaerts and starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi QO deals, both of which were declined.
Qualifying offers involve the player opting into a one-year, $19.65 million deal instead of hitting the open market. If players decline the deal, or sign elsewhere before the deadline hits, the team that offered the QO receives draft pick compensation, sometime after the fourth round.
In Bogaerts’ case, this was always the expected outcome. The 30-year-old shortstop is a free agent for the first time this winter, and projects to land one of the top shortstop deals on the market. Not only would the deal have fallen well below what he’s expected to get paid on his new contract, it even would have been a pay cut from the previous contract he opted out of last week.
BOSTON, MA – MAY 04: Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox hits a solo home run in the eighth inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels Fenway Park on May 4, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Eovaldi’s situation was seen as more of a toss-up. The qualifying offer would have given Eovaldi a raise of just over $2 million from last year. However, the 33-year-old righty now has a chance to chase a long-term deal.
Turning down the qualifying offer doesn’t mean Eovaldi has ruled out a return to Boston entirely. He and the team can still negotiate just like any other free agent. But now, if he does end up signing elsewhere, the Red Sox will get that additional draft pick.
Bogaerts’ and Eovaldi’s decisions fall in line with the majority of players offered qualifying offers last week. Of the 14 players who did get QOs, only two accepted – Giants outfielder Joc Peterson and Rangers pitcher Martin Perez. Among those declining were Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner, Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom, and Giants starting pitcher Carlos Rodon. Dodgers starter Tyler Anderson signed a new deal with the Los Angeles Angels before the decision deadline hit.
Qualifying offer results:
Rejected: Aaron Judge, Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, Jacob deGrom, Dansby Swanson, Carlos Rodón, Brandon Nimmo, Willson Contreras, Chris Bassitt, Anthony Rizzo, Nathan Eovaldi
With so many starting pitchers declining qualifying offers, the top of the pitching market should be a strong one. That could help the Red Sox bring back Eovaldi, as other teams spend money at the position elsewhere.
As for Bogaerts, this news likely doesn’t change his situation much. He remains one of, if not the top shortstop available. There’s already one contender reportedly interested in making a push to sign him.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarthor via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.