Mariners pass on qualifying offers for 2017

Gutierrez, Lind, Lee, Iannetta will be eligible for free agency

Mariners pass on qualifying offers for 2017

SEATTLE -- The Mariners declined to offer any of their four eligible free agents a $17.2 million qualifying offer at Monday's deadline, meaning Franklin Gutierrez, Adam Lind, Dae-Ho Lee and Chris Iannetta will be able to pursue any options on the open market.

Around the Majors, only 10 players were extended qualifying offers. That's down from the record 20 last year, when the qualifying offer was $15.8 million. The figure, based on the average of the top 125 MLB salaries last year, has risen each year from $13.3 million in 2012 to $14.1 million in '13 and $15.3 million in '14.

The Mariners have made two qualifying offers in the five years since the system began, with Hisashi Iwakuma (2015) and Kendrys Morales ('13) both rejecting the offers. Only three of the 54 players across MLB who received qualifying offers in the past four years have accepted the deal.

Players who reject the offer can negotiate with any team, but the club who signs them will forfeit a first-round Draft pick (or next available pick if the first-rounder is in the Top 10). And any club that loses a player who is extended a qualifying offer will receive a compensatory Draft pick between the first and second rounds.

The Mariners have signed two qualifying offer players in the past four years -- Nelson Cruz in 2014 and Robinson Cano in '13. General manager Jerry Dipoto is more likely to pursue trade targets than high-end free agents this winter, but if Seattle does sign a qualifying offer player, it would lose its first-round Draft pick, which currently slots at No. 18.

In addition to Gutierrez, Lind, Lee and Iannetta, Mariners reliever Drew Storen also is a free agent. But Storen wasn't eligible for a qualifying offer because he was traded in midseason.

No BBWAA Award finalists
The Mariners had several outstanding individual performers this season, but none cracked the top three finalists for any of the four BBWAA Awards that will be handed out over the course of this week.

The BBWAA announced the finalists for MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year on Monday. Cano had an outstanding season at second base as he hit .298 with 39 home runs and 103 RBIs, but the three American League MVP Award finalists are Mike Trout of the Angels, Mookie Betts of the Red Sox and Jose Altuve of the Astros.

Hard-throwing right-hander Edwin Diaz also figured among the top rookies in the AL after bursting onto the scene with a 2.79 ERA and 18 saves while striking out 88 in 51 2/3 innings over the final four months of the 2016 season. But the three Rookie of the Year Award finalists in the AL are Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer, Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez and Indians outfielder Tyler Naquin.

The AL Cy Young Award finalists are Boston's Rick Porcello, Cleveland's Corey Kluber and Detroit's Justin Verlander, while Manager of the Year finalists are Jeff Banister of the Rangers, Terry Francona of the Indians and Buck Showalter of the Orioles. Those BBWAA awards will be handed out on Nov. 14 through Nov. 17 on MLB Network.

Rawlings Gold Glove Awards will be presented on Tuesday at 5 p.m. PT on ESPN, with Cano a finalist at second base and Kyle Seager one of three finalists at third base.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.