NEW YORK – Washington outfielder Bryce Harper and Boston closer Craig Kimbrel were among just seven free agents who received $17.9 million qualifying offers from their former clubs Friday, when Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw agreed to a $93 million, three-year contract rather than test the market.
Left-handers Patrick Corbin (Arizona) Dallas Keuchel (Houston) and Ryu Hyun-jin (Dodgers) also received offers as did outfielder A.J. Pollock (Diamondbacks) and catcher Yasmani Grandal (Dodgers).
The Chicago Cubs exercised their $20 million option on left-hander Cole Hamels, who went 4-3 with a 2.36 ERA in 12 starts after he was acquired from Texas on July 27. The Cubs traded left-hander Drew Smyly to the Rangers, clearing from the payroll his $7 million salary. That is $1 million more than the Rangers would have owed the Cubs if Hamels’ option had been declined, which would have triggered a $6 million buyout and allowed him to go free.
Kershaw terminated a $215 million, seven-year contract that had $65 million remaining at $32 million next year and $33 million in 2020. The new deal calls for a $23 million signing bonus, payable in equal installments on June 30 in each of the next three years, and annual salaries of $23,333,333.