CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs extended qualifying offers to pitchers Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis on Monday, ensuring they will receive draft pick compensation if they sign with another team.
Chicago also claimed right-hander Cory Mazzoni off waivers from the San Diego Padres. Outfielder Leonys Martin was assigned to Triple-A Iowa, and the Cubs selected pitcher Matt Carasiti's contract from their top farm club.
Chicago's trades for Arrieta and Davis stand as two of Theo Epstein's most successful moves since he took over as president of baseball operations for the Cubs in October 2011. Their departures would leave giant holes in the rotation and bullpen.
Arrieta, who won the NL Cy Young Award in 2015, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA in 30 starts this year. Davis, who came over from Kansas City last December for outfielder Jorge Soler, had 32 saves last season and was an All-Star for the third straight year.
Arrieta and Davis have until Nov. 16 to make a decision on the $17.4 million, one-year qualifying offer. Both players are expected to decline.
The 28-year-old Mazzoni had no record and a 13.50 ERA in six relief appearances with San Diego this year. He was selected by the New York Mets in the second round of the 2011 draft out of North Carolina State.
Martin was acquired in a trade with Seattle on Aug. 31. He hit .154 (2 for 13) in 15 games with Chicago, and then made five appearances in the playoffs.
In Kansas City, Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, third baseman Mike Moustakas and outfielder Lorenzo Cain were among nine free agents who received $17.4 million qualifying offers from their teams.
Tampa Bay pitcher Alex Cobb also received the offer, as did Colorado closer Greg Holland and Cleveland first baseman Carlos Santana.
Players have until Nov. 16 to accept. If they sign with new teams, their old clubs would get an extra draft pick as compensation — possibly a much lower selection than in the past under the rules in baseball's new labor contract.
A club signing one of the players who didn't accept would lose a draft selection — no longer a first-round pick — and possibly part of its international bonus pool allocation for 2018-19.
Free agents could start negotiating contracts with all teams starting Monday evening.
Qualifying offers began after the 2012 season, and none of 34 players given the offers accepted in the first three years. The figure is determined by the average of the highest 125 contracts by average annual value and three players accepted from among the 20 given $15.8 million offers in 2015: Houston outfielder Colby Rasmus, Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brett Anderson. Two players accepted from among the 10 who received $17.2 million offers last year: New York Mets second baseman Neil Walker and Philadelphia pitcher Jeremy Hellickson.
The players' association was concerned some less sought-after free agents had trouble finding deals because of compensation. Mark Trumbo and Jose Bautista didn't reach agreement until late January last winter.
Under the previous labor contract, a team signing a free agent who didn't accept a qualifying offer would lose its first-round draft pick, unless it was among the first 10 selections. A team losing a qualified free agent received an extra pick after the first round.
A tiered system was put in place under the labor deal reached last Nov. 30.
Revenue-sharing recipients that do not pay luxury tax receive an additional pick after the first round if a qualified free agent signs elsewhere for $50 million or more and they forfeit their third-highest selection for signing a qualified player: Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Colorado, Houston, Kansas City, Miami, Milwaukee, Oakland, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Seattle and Tampa Bay.
The five teams paying luxury tax this year receive an extra selection after the fourth round for losing a qualified free agent who signs for $50 million or more. For signing a qualified free agent, they forfeit their second- and fifth-highest picks and $1 million of their international signing pool that starts next July 2: Detroit, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, San Francisco and Washington.
The other nine teams receive an additional pick after the Competitive Balance B round if a qualified free agent signs elsewhere for $50 million or more and forfeit their second-highest pick and $500,000 of their next international signing pool: Boston, Chicago Cubs and White Sox, Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Texas and Toronto.
For qualified free agents signing for less than $50 million, teams receive a pick after the Competitive Balance B round, except for the five that pay luxury tax, where the extra pick is always after the fourth round.
As the deadline for exercising 2018 options for potential free agents approached:
- San Francisco exercised options on left-handers Madison Bumgarner ($12 million) and Matt Moore ($7 million) and third baseman Pablo Sandoval ($545,000 minimum).
- Holland declined his $15 million player option, and the Rockies declined a $2.5 million club option on infielder Alexi Amarista, who gets a $150,000 buyout.
- The Los Angeles Dodgers exercised a $9 million option on infielder Logan Forsythe and declined a $17.5 million option on outfielder Andre Ethier, who gets a $2.5 million buyout.
- Texas declined an $11 million option on first baseman Mike Napoli, who gets a $2.5 million buyout, and a $4 million option on reliever Tony Barnett, who gets a $250,000 buyout. The Rangers exercised a $6 million option on left-hander Martin Perez, who would have been eligible for salary arbitration.
- Washington catcher Matt Wieters exercised his $10.5 million option.
- Toronto declined a $17.5 million option on outfielder Jose Bautista, who gets a $500,000 buyout.
- Baltimore declined a $14 million option on shortstop J.J. Hardy, who receives a $2 million buyout, and a $12 million option on left-hander Wade Miley, who gets a $500,000 buyout. Orioles catcher Welington Castillo declined his $7 million player option.
- Cleveland declined a $7 million option on reliever Boone Logan, receives a $1 million buyout.
- Tampa Bay exercised a $2 million option on right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, who missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery in August 2016.
- Arizona exercised a $2 million option on infielder Daniel Descalso.