Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon are two of ten free agents who received qualifying offers from their now-former (even if only momentarily “former”) teams on Monday.
Strasburg, 31, is hitting free agency coming off solid, healthy regular season, and dominant postseason, in which he was named World Series MVP, posting a 1.98 ERA, four walks, 47 Ks, and a .221/.239/.368 line against in six games, five starts, and 36 1⁄3 IP in October, after a big (18-6) season in the nation’s capital in which he put up a 3.32 ERA, 3.25 FIP, 56 walks, 251 Ks, and a .210/.271/.349 line against in 33 starts and 209 IP, finishing the year at 5.7 fWAR.
Ten players tendered qualifying offers today:— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 4, 2019
Josh Donaldson, Stephen Strasburg, Anthony Rendon, Gerrit Cole, Jose Abreu, Jake Odorizzi, Madison Bumgarner, Zack Wheeler, Will Smith, Marcell Ozuna.
They have 10 days to accept or reject the $17.8 million offers.
Rendon, 29, set career marks, “in nearly every offensive category,” as the Nationals put it in their Season in Review, finishing his seventh major league season with a 319/.412/.598 line 44 doubles, 34 home runs, 117 runs scored, 126 RBIs, and 154 wRC+ in 146 games and 646 plate appearances, over which he was worth 7.0 fWAR.
The qualifying offer this year is for a 1-year/$17.8M deal, which both players will decline at some point in the next 10 days, but making one guarantees compensation for the teams that lose players to free agency, with the Nationals set to get draft picks after Competitive Balance Round B in the 2020 Draft if the players sign elsewhere in free agency.
MLB Network analyst Jon Heyman reported on Monday that the Nationals are already trying to get Strasburg re-signed after he opted out of the final four years and $100M of his deal with the Nationals, (much of it deferred) to test the market, after signing an extension to avoid free agency in 2016, when he got a 7-year/$175M deal from the team that made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2009.
Rendon avoided arbitration with the Nats last winter, when he agreed to a 1-year/$18.8M deal for the 2019 campaign, but rumored discussions on a potential long-term extension have not resulted in a new deal that would keep the 2011 1st Round pick in Washington in 2020 and beyond...
FWIW Nats are trying on Strasburg already. Uncertain how likely a quick deal is tho. They also want to retain Rendon obvs and from outside like MadBum and Wheeler— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 4, 2019