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If they all officially reject the offer by Thursday's deadline, any of the nine who end up signing with a new team this offseason will carry the Draft-pick compensation tied to players who reject qualifying offers. The team that signs them will have to give up one or more picks in the 2018 Draft, with only the highest first-round pick protected, while the player's old team will receive an additional Draft pick in '18.
Were any to accept the offer, they would be locked into a one-year, $17.4 million with their current team for next season, after which they would again become eligible for free agency.
A player rejecting the qualifying offer doesn't preclude his old team from re-signing him, but he'd have to work out a new deal amid competition from the other Major League clubs. And many of the nine players, especially Hosmer, look like they could be in line for big paydays.
Hosmer will likely draw one of the largest free-agent contracts this offseason. Santana has reportedly drawn interest from teams like the Red Sox and Mariners, and Holland's market could include teams like the Cubs and Cardinals.
The Royals are expected to make a push to re-sign Hosmer and Moustakas, according to Heyman, which would allow them to avoid a full-on rebuild in 2018. The Rockies, Cubs and Indians could all also look to bring back their qualifying offer recipients.
The Rockies are expected to make an effort to sign Holland to a longer-term contract, after he anchored their bullpen on their run to the playoffs and served as a leader on their young pitching staff. Holland also loves Colorado, according to Heyman, and he has close ties to the Rockies.
Players like Cobb and Cain, on the other hand, appear unlikely to re-sign with their former teams. Per Heyman, the Royals think Cain will make more on the open market than they're willing to spend -- with the Rangers, Mariners, Giants and Dodgers as potential suitors -- and Cobb will probably be out of the Rays' price range.
Last offseason, two players accepted qualifying offers -- Jeremy Hellickson with the Phillies and Neil Walker with the Mets.