MLB rumors: Marcell Ozuna unlikely to accept qualifying offer, Drew Pomeranz drawing heavy interest
Plus notes on Jose Abreu and Darren O'Day
The 2019-20 MLB offseason has arrived, and while we've yet to see any significant transactions, there are still plenty of rumors to monitor. Here are this offseason's key dates and our ranking of the top 50 free agents on the market. Now here are Saturday's hot stove news and rumors.
Ozuna 'very unlikely' to take qualifying offer
Outfielder Marcell Ozuna is "very unlikely" to accept the qualifying offer, reports MLB Network's Jon Heyman. . The deadline to accept or reject the qualifying offer is Thursday, Nov. 14. By rejecting the qualifying offer, Ozuna will be attached to draft pick compensation in free agency.
The Cardinals are loaded with outfielders -- Tyler O'Neill, Lane Thomas, and even Tommy Edman are candidates to take over in left field -- and will allow Ozuna to leave as a free agent, and take the supplemental first round pick. The soon-to-be 29-year-old Ozuna may not get $17.8 million annually, but he should secure more total guaranteed dollars on a multi-year contract this winter.
Heavy interest in Pomeranz
According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, there is lots of interest in free agent left-hander Drew Pomeranz. He is likely to secure a multi-year contract with a significant annual salary. Pomeranz, 31 later this month, started this past season in the Giants rotation before moving into the bullpen at midseason and getting traded to the Brewers. His velocity jumped in relief and he had big success.
This is not a great free agent class for relievers --, including Pomeranz -- yet teams all around the league need bullpen help. Pomeranz threw only 28 2/3 innings in relief this past season, so it wasn't a big sample, yet it was likely enough to convince a team(s) he is worth a three-year roll of the dice. That third year could be what it takes to get him.
ChiSox, Abreu talking long-term deal
The White Sox and slugger Jose Abreu are discussing a long-term contract, reports ESPN's Jeff Passan. Chicago made Abreu the qualifying offer and he would seem to be a good candidate to accept it given how little interest there has been in one-dimensional free agent first baseman in recent years. Clearly though, the ChiSox want to keep him around beyond 2020.
Abreu, 33 in January, is an important leader on a young White Sox team that may be only a few moves away from contention. Tim Anderson, Lucas Giolito, and Yoan Moncada all had breakout 2019 seasons, Eloy Jimenez was called up, and Michael Kopech is due to return from Tommy John surgery next year. The ChiSox want Abreu around for his leadership as much as his bat.
Brave re-sign O'Day
The Braves have re-signed right-hander Darren O'Day to a one-year contract, the team announced. The deal is worth $2.25 million guaranteed with a $3.5 million club option for 2021. He is the third player Atlanta has re-signed already this season, joining Tyler Flowers and Nick Markakis. (Flowers and Markakis re-signed after having their club options declined.)
O'Day, 37, missed the first five months of the 2019 season with a right forearm strain. He pitched well in September and appeared in four of the team's five postseason games. O'Day will join Shane Greene, Luke Jackson, and Sean Newcomb in Mark Melancon's setup crew next season. The veteran sidewinder is still a great right-on-right matchup option.
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