Three are first to accept qualifying offers
NEW YORK — Houston outfielder Colby Rasmus, Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brett Anderson became the first three players to accept qualifying offers from their teams rather than remain free agents, and Boston obtained closer Craig Kimbrel from San Diego.
The trio of free agents, who agreed to the $15.8 million, one-year contracts Friday, were among 20 players given the offers Nov. 6. Another in the group, Toronto pitcher Marco Estrada, agreed to a $26 million, two-year contract that was announced just before the 5 p.m. EST deadline to accept qualifying offers.
None of the 34 qualifying offers was accepted in the first three years of baseball's current collective bargaining agreement. The qualifying offer salary is determined by the average of the highest 125 contracts in the major leagues.
Among those who turned down the offer this year were second baseman Daniel Murphy (Mets) and right-hander Ian Kennedy (Padres). When a player fails to accept a qualifying offer and signs a big league contract elsewhere before June's amateur draft, his former team gets an additional high selection as compensation. The signing club loses a top pick.
In a trade that followed this week's general manager's meetings, new Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski made his first big move to rebuild the franchise after its third last-place finish in four years. The Red Sox sent outfielder Manuel Margot, infielders Javier Guerra and Carlos Asuaje, and left-hander Logan Allen to the Padres for Kimbrel, a four-time All-Star. Only Asuaje and Margot made it as high as Double-A last season.