Giants first baseman Brandon Belt is the only major leaguer who will accept the one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer tendered to him by his previous team this year, according to a report Wednesday from the New York Post’s Joel Sherman:
Heard that Brandon Belt is accpeting the $18.4M qualifying offer from the #SFGiants— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) November 17, 2021
Belt, who will turn 34 next April, has often been held back by injuries during his 11-year major league career, but he’s been stellar since the Giants’ new coaching staff arrived last year and has posted a combined .285/.393/.595 slash line with 38 homers over that stretch, good for a ridiculous 165 OPS+. Belt was limited to 97 games due to hand and knee injuries in 2021, and his absence down the stretch may have been the biggest factor in the 107-win Giants getting bounced from the playoffs in the NLDS. But he was the team’s best hitter when healthy and posted a .274/.378/.597 slash line with 29 home runs.
The remaining 13 major leaguers who received the qualifying offer did not accept, setting their now-former teams up to receive compensation if they sign elsewhere. Eduardo Rodriguez, who received the qualifying offer from the Red Sox, has already joined the Tigers on a five-year deal, while Noah Syndergaard eschewed the Mets’ offer in favor of a one-year, $21 million deal from the Angels.
Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos, Mets outfielder Michael Conforto, Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, Angels closer Raisel Iglesias, Blue Jays left-hander Robbie Ray, Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, Blue Jays infielder Marcus Semien, Rockies shortstop Trevor Story, Dodgers utility player Chris Taylor, and Astros right-hander Justin Verlander are on the free agent market and have now officially rejected their former teams’ offers — as has been the case extremely often since MLB instituted the qualifying offer in 2012. They’ll hope to receive longer and more lucrative deals, and while the early signings this offseason have indicated that it’ll be a favorable free agent market, it remains to be seen how the possibility of a work stoppage next month could affect things.