Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Among the group of Los Angeles Dodgers free agents this offseason, Clayton Kershaw and J.D. Martinez appeared most likely to be extended a qualifying offer for the 2024 season, even if it wasn’t a probable outcome.
The value of MLB’s qualifying offer was set at $20.325 million, the highest it’s ever been since being implemented in 2012 as part of the free agency process. The qualifying offer value is determined by taking the average of the game’s 125 highest-paid players. It was set at $19.65 million last year, which marked an increase from the previous season.
The qualifying offer value is determined by taking the average of baseball’s 125 highest-paid players from that given season. It was set at $19.65 million in 2023, which marked an increase from the previous season.
While the Dodgers decided against a qualifying offer for Kershaw and Martinez, seven free agents were extended the one-year pact before 2 p.m. PT deadline on Monday.
Leading the group is American League MVP finalist Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Angels), and he’s accompanied by Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs free agent), Matt Chapman (Toronto Blue Jays), AL Cy Young Award finalist Sonny Gray (Minnesota Twins), Josh Hader (San Diego Padres), Aaron Nola (Philadelphia Phillies) and National League Cy Young Award finalist Blake Snell (Padres).
The aforementioned group of players now have until 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, November 14, to accept or reject the one-year pact.
Including this year’s group, a total of 131 players have been extended the qualifying offer in MLB history. Only 13 players have accepted the deal, which the Dodgers twice were part of when Brett Anderson did so for the 2016 season, and Hyun-Jin Ryu signed for 2019.
Dodgers qualifying offer decisions
Kershaw is a free agent for the third consecutive offseason and in each instance the Dodgers have not saddled him with a qualifying offer. Kershaw has expressed his gratitude for president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman not placing any pressure of a timeline on him, and that presumably holds true once again.
Kershaw just announced he underwent left shoulder surgery to repair the glenohumeral ligaments and capsule, and is hopeful to return around the middle of the 2024 season.
Martinez is coming off a one-year contract with the Dodgers and in a vacuum was a prime candidate to be extended the qualifying offer.
However, the Dodgers have every intention of making an effort to sign Ohtani, and thus need to keep the designated hitter spot in their lineup free.
Martinez could be a fallback option for the Dodgers in free agency should he still be available and Ohtani sign with a different club.
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