All-Star catcher Willson Contreras declined the one-year qualifying offer of $19.65 million from the Chicago Cubs, making him a free agent, the New York Post reported Tuesday.
Whoever signs Contreras will give up draft-pick compensation to the Cubs in next summer’s draft.
Contreras, 30, batted .243 with 22 home runs and 55 RBIs this past season, earning his third All-Star nod. He’s a career .256 hitter with 117 home runs and an .808 OPS.
Contreras surprisingly was not dealt at the trade deadline, though ESPN reported Monday that the Cubs were close on a deal with Houston for Jose Urquidy. The deal was held up by Astros owner Jim Crane, per the report.
The draft-pick compensation depends on how much a player signs for, with $50 million the line of demarcation between a pick before the third round vs. after the first round.
This year’s QO is up from $18.4 million last year. The QO is established by the average of the top 125 salaries in the major leagues.
–Field Level Media