J.T. Realmuto, George Springer, DJ LeMahieu reject $18.9M qualifying offers


Catcher J.T. Realmuto, outfielder George Springer and second baseman DJ LeMahieu rejected their qualifying offers on Wednesday, the deadline for players who received the $18.9 million offer to decide on it.

Right-hander Trevor Bauer had previously rejected his offer.

If the four players sign with another team in free agency, their former teams will receive draft-pick compensation at the end of the first round in the 2021 draft or at the end of competitive balance round B. The placement depends on whether the new contract is worth $50 million or more and the revenue-sharing and luxury tax status of the team losing the player.

A team signing the player would give up either its third-highest draft pick, its second-highest pick and $500,000 of international signing bonus allotment, or its second- and fifth-highest selections and $1 million of international signing bonus allotment, depending on revenue-sharing and luxury tax status of the signing club.

New York Mets right-hander Marcus Stroman and San Francisco Giants right-hander Kevin Gausman were the only two players to accept the offers, putting them under contract with their teams for the 2021 season.

Realmuto, 29, hit .266 with 11 homers and 32 RBIs in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, his second with the Philadelphia Phillies after arriving in a trade with the Miami Marlins just before spring training last year.

He hit .275 with 25 homers and 83 RBIs and led the league with 43 runners thrown out in his first season in Philadelphia in 2019, earning his second straight All-Star selection.

Springer, the sparkplug for the Houston Astros‘ offense in the leadoff spot for the past four seasons, hit a team-high 14 home runs this season and added another four in the postseason, as the Astros lost to the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALCS.

Before the shortened 2020 season, the 31-year-old Springer hit 20 home runs in five of the previous six seasons. He earned three straight All-Star nods from 2017 to ’19, and he was named World Series MVP in 2017, when the Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games.

LeMahieu, 32, won the American League batting title with an MLB-leading .364 average over the shortened season, becoming just the fourth player in New York Yankees history to lead the majors in that category. His company: Mickey Mantle (.353 in 1956), Joe DiMaggio (.381 in 1939) and Lou Gehrig (.363 in 1934).

In his two seasons with the Yankees, LeMahieu had a cumulative .336 batting average over 195 games, with 36 home runs, 129 RBIs, 150 runs scored and a .922 OPS. He has defied the perceived norm by hitting home runs with more frequency while playing for the Yankees (every 24 plate appearances) than he did with the Rockies (76).

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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