Every year, the top MLB free agents are locks to receive qualifying offers from their teams before hitting the market, provided they spent the entirety of the prior season with that team and have never before been extended a qualifying offer.
If the player accepts, the team retains him for one year at the average of the game’s top 125 salaries, which this year is $20.325 million.
If the player rejects the offer ahead of the November 14 deadline, he hits the open market and his former team is compensated if he signs elsewhere.
Teams had to decide by Monday at 5 p.m. whether to extend qualifying offers to their eligible free agents. The Phillies had one of the clearest candidates in the league in Aaron Nola, who will obviously reject it because he is in line for a payday well over $100 million.
When Nola rejects the qualifying offer, it will position the Phillies to receive a compensatory draft pick after the fourth round in 2024 if he signs with another team. Last summer, compensatory picks in that range were between 132nd to 137th overall.
As a luxury tax payer in 2023, the Phillies’ compensatory pick would come later than it would for more than two-thirds of teams. Revenue-sharing clubs receive a pick after the first round, while the pick for non-revenue-sharing clubs who did not exceed the luxury tax the prior season comes before the third round.
Nola was an open-and-shut case to receive the qualifying offer. Rhys Hoskins was not. He did not receive a qualifying offer. Had the Phillies extended it to Hoskins, he could have accepted because $20.325 million is a good salary for a player looking to reestablish his value for free agency the following year. It’s so early in the offseason that the Phillies don’t yet know how exactly Hoskins could fit onto their 2024 roster with the uncertainty of Bryce Harper’s short-term future defensively. If first base is going to be Harper’s position next season, there isn’t much room for Hoskins, especially with how important the Phillies’ defensive improvement was after the All-Star break when Kyle Schwarber was moved from left field to DH as Harper shifted from DH to first base.
Without the knowledge of how their offense could potentially be reconfigured this offseason, extending Hoskins the offer of more than $20 million would have been a gamble.
On the flip side, the Phillies would forfeit draft picks (their second- and fifth-highest) and up to $1 million of international bonus pool money if they sign a player who received a qualifying offer. They’ve paid a penalty in consecutive offseasons after signing Trea Turner and Nick Castellanos.