Some of the most talked about players in Major League Baseball recently declined to opt out, which means there is more than $1.2 billion on the line this offseason. With free agency rapidly approaching and many teams looking for improvements, MLB’s premier stars are not yet ready to become free agents just yet.
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Trevor Bauer, Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, and infielder-outfielder Jurickson Profar all refused to opt out of their contracts, allowing them to become free agents.
Bauer signed a three-year, $102 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers in February, and in his first 17 starts, he was 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA. He’s been on paid leave since July 2 as part of a domestic abuse investigation by Major League Baseball. In each of the following two seasons, he will earn $32 million in salary.
The New York Mets extended $18.4 million qualifying offers to outfielder Michael Conforto and pitcher Noah Syndergaard on Saturday, a day ahead of the Sunday deadline. Players have ten days to accept or reject the one-year contract offer.
Arenado’s contract was altered when he was moved from the Colorado Rockies to the St. Louis Cardinals on Feb. 1 for $214 million over seven seasons. He had the option to opt out after this season, and he still has the option to opt out after 2022. In his debut season with the Cardinals, Arenado hit.255 with 34 home runs and 105 RBIs.
In April 2018, the Rockies signed Blackmon to a six-year, $108 million agreement that includes a $21 million player option for 2022 and a $10 million option for 2023. After hitting.270 with 13 home runs and 78 RBIs in 2022, he retained his contract.
Profar signed a three-year, $21 million agreement with the San Diego Padres in January, with the ability to opt out of a pact that included $6.5 million in 2022, $7.5 million in 2023, and a $10 million mutual option in 2024. For the Padres, he batted.227 with four home runs and 33 RBIs.
The Detroit Tigers exercised their $7.75 million option on Gold Glove catcher Tucker Barnhart, who was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday for infield prospect Nick Quintana. Barnhart’s option price included a $250,000 escalator if he won a Gold Glove in 2020, and it would increase by the same amount again if he won in 2021.
Cesar Hernandez, a 31-year-old infielder, was offered a $6 million option by the Chicago White Sox, but he refused it. For Cleveland and Chicago, where he was acquired on July 29, he hit.232 with 21 home runs and 62 RBIs.
Justin Wilson, a left-handed pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, exercised a $2.3 million player option as part of a two-year, $5.15 million agreement with the New York Yankees. Wilson offered the Reds a club option for 2023 worth $500,000 more than the minimum salary that year by activating his player option. After the Reds acquired him on July 28, he had a 2.81 ERA in 21 games.
The World Series champion Atlanta Braves rejected Josh Tomlin’s $1.25 million option, forcing him to pay a $250,000 buyout. The 37-year-old right-hander went 4-0 with a 6.57 ERA in the regular season but did not appear in the playoffs.
St. Louis turned down a $17 million option on right-hander Carlos Martinez, who will be paid $500,000, and a $12 million option on shortstop Matt Carpenter, who will be paid $2 million. Martinez finished his five-year, $51 million deal with a 4-9 record and a 6.23 ERA. Carpenter finished a two-year, $39 million deal by hitting.169 with three home runs and 21 RBIs.
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