Odorizzi accepts Twins’ qualifying offer
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Pitcher Jake Odorizzi accepted a $17.8 million qualifying offer to stay with the Minnesota Twins and first baseman José Abreu took the same amount to remain with the Chicago White Sox as general managers headed home following their four-day annual meeting.
Using the threat to accept San Francisco’s offer, reliever Will Smith became the first of the 168 free agents to switch teams, agreeing Thursday to a $40 million, three-year contract with the Atlanta Braves.
Just 10 free agents received the offers on Nov. 4, and their former teams will receive draft-pick compensation if they sign elsewhere. Players who did not accept included pitchers Gerrit Cole (Houston), Stephen Strasburg (Washington), Zack Wheeler (New York Mets) and Madison Bumgarner (San Francisco) along with third basemen Anthony Rendon (Washington) and Josh Donaldson (Atlanta) and outfielder Marcell Ozuna (St. Louis).
Qualifying offers began after the 2012 season, and only eight of 90 offers have been accepted. The others were Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters, Houston outfielder Colby Rasmus and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brett Anderson after the 2015 season; New York Mets second baseman Neil Walker and Philadelphia pitcher Jeremy Hellickson following the 2016 season; and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu last offseason.