On Saturday night, MLB Inside Jon Heyman was busy breaking Blue Jays news on three players that had the potential of receiving qualifying offers.
A qualifying offer is for players that were signed for the entirety of the previous season with one baseball team and have not received an offer before and are now without a contract. The offer is the mean of the top 125 paid players in the league, which for the 2022 offseason is $18.4 million. If the club decides to give the offer to a player who is set to be a free agent and the player declines the offer, the team will receive a compensation pick in the upcoming draft. If the player accepts the qualifying offer, he is signed to the one-year deal.
Heyman tweeted that both Marcus Semien and Robbie Ray were extended the qualifying offer by the Toronto Blue Jays. Heyman also reported that the Blue Jays attempted to sign Steven Matz to a multi-year contract, however, the left-handed pitcher declined the offer and the team did not present him with the qualifying offer.
Both Semien and Ray will have 10-days to decide whether or not they want to accept the offer or decline it. It is with the utmost certainty that both will turn down the one-year $18.4 million contracts for much more lucrative deals that are awaiting them from likely no less than 10 major league deals.
Ray is coming off a one-year deal worth $8 million which turned out to be a career season. He led the major leagues in ERA (2.84), innings pitched (193.1), strikeouts (248), and WHIP (1.045) in what could lead to being awarded the American League Cy Young Award. Ray will likely sign a contract in the nine-figure range, which the Blue Jays will likely be competitive with.
Free agents Marcus Semien and Robbie Ray have each received a qualifying offer from the Toronto Blue Jays worth $18.4 million.
Going into the 2021 offseason, the Oakland Athletics declined to offer Semien a QO and the Blue Jays jumped in offering him a one-year deal worth $18 million. Semien also went on to have a career season with Toronto where he was named to the All-Star Game and should take home his first Silver Slugger Award after setting the single-season record for home runs (45) by a second baseman. Semien will likely be near the top in American League MVP voting and also in contention for the Gold Glove after being named a finalist. There have been rumours that Semien would like to move back to shortstop, which looks to be blocked by Bo Bichette in Toronto, but there is still hope that he wants to return to a team he had his greatest success with.
Many analysts did not believe the Blue Jays would qualify Matz as the contract would be too much for a pitcher of his skill level. However, he is a good back of the rotation pitcher and just because he turned down an extension does not mean he is not returning. It is a smart decision for Matz to see what else is out there for opportunities and he could very well circle back to the Blue Jays.
If you could bring back only one of these players, which player could that be?