Two-way star Shohei Ohtani was among seven players who turned down qualifying offers of more than $20 million from their former teams, the Major League Baseball Players Association said Tuesday.
All seven will pursue more lucrative contracts on the free agent market. A qualifying offer is a one-year deal worth the average of the top 125 salaries in baseball, in this instance $20,325,000.
In addition to Ohtani saying no to the Los Angeles Angels, the six others were outfielder Cody Bellinger formerly of the Chicago Cubs, third baseman Matt Chapman of the Toronto Blue Jays and pitchers Aaron Nola from the Philadelphia Phillies, Minnesota Twins starter Sonny Gray, and Josh Hader and Blake Snell from the San Diego Padres.
If a new team signs them, their former team receives compensation in the form of one or more draft picks.