Sports

Jacob deGrom, Brandon Nimmo, Chris Bassitt receive qualifying offers

Jacob deGrom, Brandon Nimmo, Chris Bassitt receive qualifying offers

NEW YORK — Losing free agents is rarely easy, but if it happens to the Mets this offseason, they’ll have some significant draft pick compensation coming.

The Mets did not extend a qualifying offer to a borderline case, starting pitcher Taijuan Walker, who would have been a candidate to accept. Should Walker sign elsewhere, the Mets will receive no compensation.

The QO is a one-year offer worth the average salary of MLB’s 125 highest-paid players — this year, $19.65 million. Teams must make offers to eligible players within five days of the end of the World Series. Players then have until November 15 at 4 pm ET to accept or decline.

If a free agent accepts the qualifying offer, he remains tied to his team from the previous season. If he declines the offer, he can explore free agency. In the latter scenario, the team that loses the player receives a compensatory draft pick, while the team that signs him is subject to forfeiting one or more draft picks (although a team’s highest first-round pick is exempt from forfeiture).

Because the Mets have taken over Major League Baseball Luxury Tax Threshold Last season, their compensatory pick would be after the fourth round of the 2023 draft.

DeGrom, 34, and Nimmo, 29, Two of baseball’s most prominent free agents, making it clear that they will accept and reject qualifying offers. Both indicate multi-year, nine-figure deals in free agency. Bassitt, 33, recently declined his share of the $19 million mutual option, so it’s unlikely he’ll accept the $19.65 million qualifying offer instead. He should have little trouble finding a multi-year deal with a higher total price, even if the annual average price is lower.

Walker presents an interesting decision for the Mets, who are looking to fill multiple rotation slots this offseason. Much like Bassitt, Walker figures to land a multi-year deal on the open market, though likely at a lower average annual value than he would receive in a qualifying offer. The potential for draft pick compensation wasn’t enough for the Mets to risk tying up most of their salary on a pitcher like Walker, who went 12-5 with a 3.49 ERA in 29 appearances this season.

No team issued more qualifying offers than the Mets, who lost 12 players from their 40-man roster to free agency (not including Edwin Diaz, who was briefly a free agent earlier Re-signing with the club)


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