NEW YORK – Freddie Freeman, World Series MVP Jorge Soler and champion Atlanta Braves’ Eddie Rosario are among 160 players who became free agents Wednesday as an uncertain offseason began with a threat of lockout. .
Houston shortstop Carlos Correa and Astros pitcher Justin Verlander, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, also became free agents.
Other stars who hit the market include Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Max Scherzer, Marcus Semien, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Michael Conforto, and Kevin Gausman.
Roughly 50 additional players are potentially eligible, pending decisions on options on their contracts for 2022.
Free agents can negotiate contracts with any team starting Sunday night.
Catcher Tucker Barnhart, whose contract includes a $ 7.5 million club option, was traded from Cincinnati to Detroit on Wednesday for infielder Nick Quintana. A decision on Barnhart’s option is pending.
A slow market is expected as teams hesitate to make compromises before knowing what the sport’s economic structure will be next year. The collective bargaining agreement between Major League Baseball and the Players Association expires on December 1 and a lockout appears likely.
Dodgers right-hander Trevor Bauer, who has been on paid leave since July 2 while under investigation under MLB’s domestic violence policy, may choose not to participate for the remaining two years of his contract, which requires salaries of $ 32 million in 2022 and 23.
Boston designated hitter JD Martinez must decide the player option, as does Milwaukee outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr.
San Francisco has a club option on wide receiver Buster Posey.
Teams must decide by 5 p.m. ET Sunday whether to make $ 18.4 million qualifying offers to their players who became free agents. A player is eligible for a qualifying offer only if he was with the team for the entire 2021 season and has not previously received a qualifying offer.
If a team makes a qualification offer to a player who signs a major league contract with another club before the amateur draft, his old club would receive a draft pick as compensation at the end of the first round or at the end of the B round of the competitive balance. The placement depends on whether the new contract is worth $ 50 million or more and the income distribution and luxury tax status of the team that loses the player.
A free agent could be made a qualifying offer only if he had been with the same team continuously since Opening Day and had never received a qualifying offer before.
Qualifying offers began after the 2012 season and only seven of the 96 offers were accepted.