The offseason is in full swing. The champion has been named, awards are being handed out, and other major decisions are taking place. One of these decisions came in the form of the qualifying offer. Seven different players had the opportunity to accept or reject this $20.3 million offer for the 2024 season.
Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani was one of these players to receive the qualifying offer. This offer is one players often reject and is just handed out as a formality. Shohei Ohtani's case was certainly one of those times as there was no way he was going to accept it. The reason, of course, is he'd make a whole lot more on the open market.
Ohtani is doing what everyone already knew he was going to do. Test free agency. He's now officially free to sign with any of the 30 teams in MLB.
Shohei Ohtani is going to test free agency this winter
Ohtani is the most notable player to hit the free agent market and receive the qualifying offer. He was one of just seven players to receive the qualifying offer but was not the only one to reject it. In fact, all seven players rejected it. This means all seven players, including Ohtani, will have a draft pick attached to them as we enter free agency.
The draft pick could scare some teams with certain players, but in the case of Shohei Ohtani, nobody will bat an eye. A draft pick is a small price to pay in exchange for the best player in the game and arguably the best player we've ever seen.
The Angels are one of several teams that will be hoping to convince Shohei Ohtani to sign with them. His free agency will be an exciting but nerve-wracking process that will hopefully end sooner than later. The chances Ohtani remains with the Angels are certainly slim with the team showing no real signs of being competitive, but they're not zero.
While the Angels hope Ohtani stays, there are still some exciting free agents to pursue if he leaves. Many of which received the qualifying offer. It'll be exciting to see how the team plans on proceeding whether he stays or goes.