As expected, the Red Sox didn’t extend any Qualifying Offers before Monday’s deadline, so Adam Duvall and James Paxton are officially on the free agent market with no strings attached.
The Qualifying Offer is a one-year contract specifically for a team’s free agents, but only those who spent the entire season on said team’s roster. The accompanying salary is calculated by averaging the league’s 125 highest-paid players, and this year’s rings up at $20.5 million. It’s the first time the QO salary has cleared $20 million.
Extending the QO is usually just a formality. A player who deserves a QO is more likely to get a better deal on the open markets. Jacob Ellsbury, for example, rejected Boston’s in November 2013 and signed a seven-year deal with the New York Yankees barely two weeks later.
It’s largely strategic. If a team loses out on a draft pick because he or she rejects the QO, and instead signs with a new team, the original team gets compensated. When Eduardo Rodriguez rejected the Red Sox in November 2021, they parlayed that into selecting outfielder Roman Anthony, who earned the organization’s Minor League Hitter of the Year this season.
Justin Turner wasn’t eligible, as he…