ORLANDO – None of the nine star players who were extended $17.4-million qualifying offers by their old teams will accept them, and all will instead seek multiyear deals as free agents, sources said.
Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb, Wade Davis, Greg Holland, Lance Lynn and Carlos Santana all should find much bigger deals on the open market, so it’s no surprise there will be no acceptances.
The nine players have until Thursday to make their decisions official.
Last year, second baseman Neil Walker and pitcher Jeremy Hellickson accepted the qualifying offer.
Royals GM Dayton Moore will meet with agent Scott Boras here in Orlando and will try to retain Hosmer and Moustakas. Hosmer is the Royals’ top priority, but the Royals know it’s no slam dunk since he’s expected to get close to the biggest free-agent deal this winter, if not the biggest, and their revenues are in the second half among baseball’s 30 teams.
The Rockies could have a chance to keep Holland, as both sides seem interested in staying together. The Cubs may have an opportunity to keep one or both their free agents (Davis would seem to be the more likely to stay) and the Indians will at least talk to Santana as one of close to 10 teams looking at first base – but Santana is expected to have many other options, as well.
Not all the players have a chance to stay with their teams. While the Rays love Cobb they understand he is out of their reach financially and have younger more cost-efficient pitchers set to replace him.