MLB Free Agency, MLB Hot Stove

3 Bold predictions for MLB’s Qualifying Offer deadline today

Which MLB stars will accept Qualifying Offers before the league’s 5 p.m. ET deadline on Wednesday?

At 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday, MLB qualifying offers will expire, and some of the best players in the game will join their compatriots in free agency.

Qualifying Offers began with the 2012 Collective Bargaining Agreement. Teams can tender their impending free agents qualifying offers for the following season, as long as the player has never received a QO before and spent the entire season on the team’s roster. The QO is always a hefty sum, as it is the average of the 125 richest contracts in the league; this year, it’s $18.4 million.

14 players were extended Qualfying Offers this year, and some have already declined them. Starting pitchers Eduardo Rodriguez and Noah Syndergaard turned down QOs from the Red Sox and Mets, respectively, the teams with whom they’d spent their entire big-league careers. Rodriguez signed with the Tigers, while Syndergaard is headed to the Angels.

Players have 10 days to accept or decline their QOs, which brings us to Wednesday evening. In the short history of this system, only 10 of 96 offers have been accepted.

With that in mind, here are three bold predictions for Wednesday’s deadline.

MLB Qualifying Offers deadline: 3 bold predictions

3. Justin Verlander declines QO and signs with the Yankees

Legendary baseball writer Peter Gammons just casually suggested that Justin Verlander is signing with the New York Yankees, and it feels like that’s definitely a possibility, as are the Atlanta Braves. The Red Sox are also interested, but they’re working through Chris Sale’s post-Tommy John struggles already, and at 38 years old, Verlander is a big risk.

The two-time Cy Young winner has only pitched once at the big-league level over the last two seasons, but he’s also Justin Verlander, and many teams are ready to pry him away from the Houston Astros.

2. Marcus Semien declines QO — but stays with Blue Jays

Marcus Semien is rumored to be turning down his QO, but the Blue Jays would be insane to let him leave after the All-Star, Gold Glove, and Silver Slugger season he just had.

Semien just turned 31, so he’s probably looking for the security of a longer-term deal, and the Blue Jays should be one of many teams offering just that.

1. Raisel Iglesias rejects Angels’ QO but signs new deal with them

Raisel Iglesias was one of the best closers in baseball this season, leading the American League in games finished for the second 162-game season in a row, and earning 34 saves for the second consecutive full season. He posted a 2.57 ERA over 65 appearances and struck out an absurd 103 batters over 70 innings.

Considering his stellar performance isn’t anomalous from the rest of his career, Iglesias could definitely command a hefty sum in free agency, but the way they’re (finally) actively building the pitching around Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani might make him want to stay with a team that looks poised to finally crawl out of mediocrity.

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