May 26, 2024

NEW YORK — Shohei Ohtani was among seven players who turned down $20,325,000 qualifying offers from their former teams Tuesday and remained in free agency to pursue more lucrative contracts.

In addition to Ohtani saying no to the Los Angeles Angels, others who declined offers were outfielder Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs); pitchers Josh Hader and Blake Snell (San Diego), Aaron Nola (Philadelphia) and Sonny Gray (Minnesota); and third baseman Matt Chapman (Toronto).

By making a qualifying offer — calculated as the average of the top 125 contracts by average annual value — a team would receive an additional selection in next July’s amateur draft if a player signs elsewhere before then. A team signing the player could lose one or two draft picks.

Qualifying offers began after the 2012 season, and only 10 of 131 offers have been accepted.

Ohtani heads a free agent class that includes starting pitchers Eduardo Rodriguez and Jordan Montgomery, along with Nola, Snell, Gray and Japanese star Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who is not attached to draft-pick compensation.

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