HOUSTON — Aaron Judge, Edwin Diaz, Trea Turner, Dansby Swanson and Xander Bogaerts were among the 131 players who became free agents Sunday as the major league buyouts opened, just hours after the last out of the Series. World.
Justin Verlander, Jacob deGrom and Carlos Rodón should join them in the coming days as they are among the 56 players who have options that must be defined in a five-day period after the World Series. All three pitchers are expected to decline their options, as are shortstop Carlos Correa and first baseman Anthony Rizzo.
Clayton Kershaw, Willson Contreras, Brandon Nimmo, Kenley Jansen, Nathan Eovaldi, Josh Bell and Andrew Benintendi also became free agents Sunday.
Some players, like Mets pitcher Chris Bassitt, have mutual option contracts that will have to be worked out. About 55 players could enter free agency depending on option decisions.
Players will be able to start contract negotiations beginning Friday.
Judge turned down an offer from the New York Yankees in April for $213 million from 2023-29. The outfielder responded with an American League-record 62 home runs, tied for the major league lead with 131 RBIs and ranked second in his circuit with a .311 average.
Teams have until Thursday to submit qualifying offers of $19.65 million to their former players who became free agents.
A free agent can receive the qualifying offer only if he has been with the same club since the first day of the season and has never received a qualifying offer before. The player has until November 20 to accept it.
Instead of declaring free agents, Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina — St. Louis Cardinals veterans — went on the voluntary retirement list.
Meanwhile, Washington left-handed reliever Sean Doolittle was the first free agent to reach a deal, staying with the Nationals by agreeing to a minor league deal.