4:26 PM ET
NEW YORK — The price of qualifying offers for Major League Baseball free agents rose by $1.1 million to a record $18.9 million.
Determined by the average of the top 125 major league contracts this year, the figure announced Thursday is based on full salaries, not the prorated pay that players received in the pandemic-shorted season.
The price had dropped last offseason for the first time, by $100,000 to $17.8 million.
Among the top players eligible for free agency are pitchers Trevor Bauer, Marcus Stroman, Liam Hendriks, Blake Treinen, Masahiro Tanaka, Jose Quintana and Alex Colome; catcher J.T. Realmuto; outfielders George Springer and Marcell Ozuna; infielder DJ LeMahieu; designated hitter Nelson Cruz; and shortstops Didi Gregorius, Marcus Semien and Andrelton Simmons.
A qualifying offer can be made through the fifth day after the World Series, and a player has a week after that to accept. If a team makes a qualifying offer to a player who signs a major league contract with another club before the June amateur draft, his former club would receive a draft pick as compensation at the end of the first round or at the end of competitive