The Mariners Decline a Qualifying Offer to Teoscar Hernandez

Teoscar Hernandez
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners decline a qualifying offer to Teoscar Hernandez. This was first reported by Daniel Kramer of MLB.com and is the most startling news to come out of the start of the off-season regarding teams extending offers to players so far.

Open Market

For a team that needs offense, this comes as a bit of a surprise. In today’s competitive market for power hitters, $20.3 million seems like a good deal. What this means for Hernandez is a move to free agency and the ability to sign anywhere.

This also means the Mariners do not get anything in return. Had they extended a qualifying offer to Hernandez, and he refused to take it, they would have had a possible draft pick as compensation. It leaves the team without a starter in right field.

Down Season

Hernandez hit .258, his lowest average since 2019. He also had his lowest slugging percentage since he came in the league in 2016. His career-high 211 strikeouts ranked the third most in the majors and his strikeout rate, 31.1%, was the highest on the team. That rate also ranked him fifth highest in the majors among qualified hitters.

Mariners Tried to Trade

The Mariners tried to trade Hernandez last August at the deadline. Hernandez is a power hitter and a free swinger who does not work on his pitch selection on a regular basis. He does not walk very much and his speed on the bases is average. In addition, he is considered an average right fielder, though was much better this year than he had been in the past. It seems the Mariners have decided that $20.5 million is a lot of money to give to an average player who had a down season.

Saved Money Elsewhere

The Mariners can allocate the Teoscar Hernandez money towards the rest of their offseason budget. They have been reported as one of the teams that will be all-in on the number one free agent, Shohei Ohtani.

Still Intriguing

Despite his down year, Hernandez will be one of the most intriguing bats available this offseason. He is well respected in the clubhouse by his teammates and had a strong second half of the season. With that strong second half, he might have set himself up as a top free agent this off season. While the Mariners were not interested in paying their biggest acquisition of last winter $20.5 million for next season, many teams will take a look at him.

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James Marshall

James Marshall

Jim Marshall has lived in Phoenix, AZ for 50 years. He is an avid baseball fan, but enjoys all of Arizona's local sports teams, including Diamondbacks, Suns, Cardinals and Coyotes. In addition to the four major sports, he closely follows the Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Rattlers and Arizona State Sun Devils. Jim's passion for baseball continues beyond the field as he is an avid collector of baseball memorabilia. His favorite athlete of all time is Baseball Hall of Fame member Harmon Killebrew. In addition to watching, reading and talking about sports, he takes time to travel and appreciate the great state of Arizona with his lovely wife, Patti.

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