Nov 14, 2023, 04:50 PM ET
NEW YORK — Shohei Ohtani and six other prominent baseball players have declined qualifying offers from their former teams, choosing to remain free agents in pursuit of more lucrative contracts.
In addition to Ohtani rejecting the offer from the Los Angeles Angels, the other players who declined include outfielder Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs), pitchers Josh Hader and Blake Snell (San Diego), Aaron Nola (Philadelphia), and Sonny Gray (Minnesota), as well as third baseman Matt Chapman (Toronto).
A qualifying offer is calculated as the average of the top 125 contracts by average annual value. If a player signs with another team before the next July’s amateur draft, the former team would receive an additional selection in the draft. However, the team signing the player may lose one or two draft picks.
Since the introduction of qualifying offers in 2012, only 10 out of 131 offers have been accepted.
Ohtani leads a free agent class that also includes starting pitchers Eduardo Rodriguez and Jordan Montgomery, along with Nola, Snell, Gray, and Japanese star Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who is not subject to draft-pick compensation.