The qualifying offer for the 2015-2016 off-season was recently set at $15.8 million, leaving multiple teams with decisions to make once the season officially comes to an end. The qualifying offer is calculated using an average of the top 125 salaries in baseball.
If a team makes a free agent a qualifying offer, which is a one-year deal, and he rejects it, the team receives a draft pick if he signs elsewhere. Teams have until five days after the World Series to make a qualifying offer. Players then have a week to determine if they want to accept or reject it.
Each of these players will likely receive a qualifying offer.
Chris Davis, Orioles
Davis, 29, was solid in 2015, batting .262/.361/.562 to complement 47 home runs and 117 RBIs. He played in 160 contests and has proven to be a valuable left-handed bat in Baltimore's lineup. Since the Orioles are likely fond of the production, Davis should receive a qualifying offer. But since there are not many available free agent first baseman, he most likely will not accept it.
Wei-Yin Chen, Orioles
Over 191.1 innings last season, Chen pitched to a 3.34 ERA. Baltimore would likely benefit from having him in its 2016 rotation, however with the expected need for starting pitching, it is unlikely he will accept a qualifying offer.
Matt Wieters, Orioles
Coming off of a solid offensive 2014 campaign, Wieters batted .267/.319/.422 in 2015. He posted eight home runs and drove in 25, and while the Orioles likely want to re-sign him, if he does not accept a qualifying offer there might not be much of a chance of him playing in Baltimore next year.
Dexter Fowler, Cubs
Fowler, 29, has played well since joining the Cubs after playing in Houston last season. Over 156 games, he batted .250/.346/.411 to complement 17 home runs and 46 RBIs. He is also a versatile piece and stole 20 bases. Ultimately, the Cubs are expected to make him a qualifying offer, which he could accept if he enjoyed playing under Joe Maddon in Chicago.
Alex Gordon, Royals
Gordon first has to decline a $12.5 million option he has in line for 2016 before he can consider a qualifying offer. Over 104 games with Kansas City, he batted .271/.377/.432. The 13 home runs and 40 RBIs might not be too significant, however he can play both third base and in the outfield and could decide to remain with the Royals given their recent success.
Jason Heyward, Cardinals
Heyward, 26, spent the 2015 season in St. Louis after the Braves decided to move him. Over 154 games in 2015, he batted .293/.3359/.439 to complement 13 home runs and 60 RBIs. He too is a threat on the base paths and by making him a qualifying offer the Cardinals could attempt to ensure they have outfield stability.
Zack Greinke, Dodgers
Greinke, 31, is expected to opt-out of his current contract. Los Angeles does not have a notable amount of starting pitching depth beyond Clayton Kershaw, so making Greinke, who pitched to 1.66 ERA and 2.76 FIP, a qualifying offer is realistic. However, he will likely request an extensive contract and will be in high demand.
Brett Anderson, Dodgers
Anderson pitched well for Los Angeles, however they might also consider other starting options. His 3.69 ERA and 3.64 FIP should be enough for him to receive a qualifying offer, but it is still unlikely he accepts it.
Howie Kendrick, Dodgers
Kendrick thrived with the Dodgers in 2015, batting .295/.336/.409 to complement nine home runs and 54 RBIs over 117 games. He has batted at least .280 in each of the last five seasons but might not accept a qualifying offer if he feels he can draw a notable amount of interest as a free agent second baseman.
John Lackey, Cardinals
Lackey, 36, was notably effective with St. Louis last season. He pitched to a 2.77 ERA and 3.57 FIP over 218.0 innings and made 33 starts. The Cardinals' rotation was solid, and while the club will likely make Lackey an offer, he could probably land a bigger deal as a free agent.
Justin Upton, Padres
Upton was likely not as productive as the Padres thought would be in 2015, but he still batted .251/.336/.454 to complement 26 home runs and 81 RBIs. If he returns, he might be more productive in San Diego in 2016, but he likely will not have that opportunity despite receiving an offer.
Ian Kennedy, Padres
Kennedy has pitched to a 4.28 ERA and 4.51 FIP over 168.1 innings this season. While the Padres are expected to make him an offer, he could be another starter hoping to land a big deal as a free agent.
Jeff Samardzija, White Sox
Samardzija was initially a candidate to be moved before the non-waiver trade deadline, however Chicago ultimately opted to hold on to him. Over 214.0 innings, he pitched to a 4.96 ERA and 4.23 FIP. The White Sox would probably like to have the pitching depth, but Samarzija will likely receive a large contract this winter.
Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals
Zimmermann, 29, had another solid year in Washington's rotation. Over 201.2 innings, he pitched to a 3.66 ERA and 3.75 FIP. He has started at least 30 games in each of the last four seasons, and despite making him an offer, the Nationals likely will not be able to afford signing him as a free agent.
Ian Desmond, Nationals
Desmond has thanked the Nationals and appears to be set on moving on, but that likely will not stop the Nationals from making him a qualifying offer. He almost certainly will not accept, but Washington could receive compensation once he signs elsewhere.
Denard Span, Nationals
Span batted .301 and drove in 22 runs over 61 contests. He should not be too expensive as a free agent but still might not accept the qualifying offer he is likely to receive.
Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners
Iwakuma was effective on the mound in Seattle last season, pitching to a 3.54 ERA and 3.74 FIP over 129.2 innings. He has been consistent and could at least consider the offer since he has success with the Mariners in 2015.
Yovani Gallardo, Rangers
Gallardo had success with Texas last season, pitching to a 3.12 ERA and 4.00 FIP. He was once considered one of the best top of the rotation arms and as a result could receive a large deal as a free agent this off-season.
Daniel Murphy, Mets
Murphy, 30, has thrived all season and batted .281/.322/.449 to complement 14 home runs and 73 RBIs over 130 regular season games. New York will probably make him a qualifying offer but might not be able to afford signing him as a free agent.
Colby Rasmus, Astros
The 29-year old batted .238 to complement 25 home runs and 61 RBIs with Houston. The Astros do not have a notable amount of outfield depth and could hope Rasmus accepts a qualifying offer as a result.