Last week, MLB announced that the qualifying offer will be set at $19.65 million this winter, which is a $1.25-million increase from last offseason. This will affect only a handful of free agents including SF Giants lefty Carlos Rodón.
SF Giants: Qualifying offer set to $19.65 million for 2023
The good news is that with the qualifying offer increasing, it means that the average for the top 125 contracts have increased as well. That is a healthy sign after all of the labor talks last offseason.
The qualifying offer is a process in which teams carry a little extra leverage in retaining some of their top free agents. Teams can issue the qualifying offer to any player where it makes economic sense. That player will have 10 days to consider the qualifying offer.
If he accepts it, then he is locked into a one-year deal for a pre-determined value. In this case, it would be $19.65 million for 2023. If he rejects it, then the incumbent team would receive a draft pick should he signs elsewhere.
The Giants have been one of the more aggressive teams with the qualifying offer in recent seasons. They have issued one to Will Smith, Madison Bumgarner, Brandon Belt, and Kevin Gausman. Only Belt and Gausman accepted it, but the Giants received draft pick compensation when Bumgarner and Smith signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves, respectively.
Realistically, the Giants will only make a qualifying offer to Carlos Rodón this offseason. He signed a two-year, $44 million pact last offseason with an opt-out clause after the first season if he surpassed 110 innings pitched in 2022. He did that with ease.
The qualifying offer represents a pay decrease when he opts out, so it would not make financial sense for him to accept it. After all, the left-handed hurler is coming off of a strong 2022 campaign in which he posted a 2.88 ERA, 2.25 FIP, 1.02 WHIP, 12.0 K/9, and a 4.56 SO/W ratio in 31 starts.
He earned an NL All-Star nod and will receive some consideration for the NL Cy Young award. Rodón is in a position to earn a very nice payday in free agency Will that be with the Giants? That remains to be seen, but the qualifying offer will represent a small lever of team control in potentially retaining him next season and beyond.