1 Reds free agent target who received a Qualifying Offer and 2 who didn't

At least one free agent the Reds may be looking to sign has a Qualifying Offer attached to his signing.

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) pitches
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) pitches / Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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Qualifying Offers were doled out on Monday, and seven major leaguers now have draft compensation attached to their signing this offseason.

Unsurprisingly, the team that inks Shohei Ohtani to a new deal this winter will have to forfeit a draft pick. But if that's the price for signing a generational talent like Ohtani, so be it.

However, the likely AL MVP wasn't the only player to be extended a QO on Monday. If the Cincinnati Reds were to wade deep enough into the free agent waters and sign a player who has been extended a Qualifying Offer, they would have to surrender an early-round selection in next year's MLB Draft.

Reds free agent target Sonny Gray received a Qualifying Offer

This was always expected, and any team, including the Cincinnati Reds, will have to fork over a draft pick in order to sign Sonny Gray to a contract this offseason. The former Reds hurler will likely finish in the mix for the AL Cy Young Award this year.

Gray and the Reds have a history. The right-hander spend three seasons in the Queen City before being jettisoned prior to the 2022 campaign in favor of former Minnesota Twins first-rounder Chase Petty.

Gray has quite the resumé, and seeing as how the Reds would appear desperate to add a starting pitcher this winter, pursuing the Vanderbilt alum may be something to watch. However, Cincinnati will not be alone. Several other contenders will be looking to ink Gray to deal this winter as well.

At 34 years old, one has to wonder if Sonny Gray will draw the Reds' interest this offseason. It's very likely that the 11-year veteran will be looking for a contract that pays him more than $20-million per season.

MLB Trade Rumors expects Gray to land a four-year/$90-million contract this winter. That price tag, combined with the forfeiture of draft capital, likely pushes Gray off the Reds' radar.

Reds free agent target Jorge Soler did not receive a Qualifying Offer

For all those Reds fans who are eager to see Cincinnati chase a right-handed power-bat this offseason, look no further than Jorge Soler. The former World Series MVP will be available in free agency, and the Miami Marlins chose not to extend Soler a Qualifying Offer.

Will that end up being a mistake on the part of the new Marlins' front office leadership? Potentially. Extending a QO to Soler would have guaranteed that the slugger could have netted $20.3-million in 2024.

After opting out of the final year of his contract in South Beach, Soler obviously feels that he did enough in 2023 to chase a contract worth more than the $13-million player-option he declined this past week. In a free agent class void of many power-hitters, Soler may be well compensated for his services.

Soler hit .250/.341/.512 with 36 home runs and 75 RBI. For his career, the 31-year-old owns 170 round-trippers and 452 runs batted in. Soler led the AL in homers back in 2019 with 48 big flies.

But, as is the case with most power-hitters, Jorge Soler strikes out a lot as well. This past season, Soler went down on strikes nearly 25-percent of the time. Soler, however, was merciless against left-handed pitching, slashing .277/.393/.688 against southpaws.

Soler is a bit limited when it comes to his defense. Last season, Soler played just over 30 games in the outfield while drawing the majority of his starts as the Miami Marlins designated hitter.

Reds target Teoscar Hernandez did not receive a Qualifying Offer

The most surprising omission was Seattle Mariners outfielder Teoscar Hernandez. Last winter, 14 players received a Qualifying Offer, even borderline candidates for the QO like Joc Pederson.

Perhaps the Mariners assumed that after a down-year Hernandez would actually accept the Qualifying Offer and force Seattle to pony up the $20.3-million owed to those player who accept the QO.

This is, however, an intriguing development for the Cincinnati Reds, as Hernandez represents the best power-hitting outfielder on the market outside of Cody Bellinger. Hernandez posted a .740 OPS one year after .267/.316/.491. Hernandez has three straight seasons of 25-plus homers.

Much like Jorge Soler, Teoscar Hernandez struck out quite a bit in 2023. The 31-year-old posted an unfortunate 31.1-percent strikeout-out, which, according to Baseball Savant, was among the bottom 10-percent in the league last season.

Hernandez, however, has very good speed and strong arm. Though both Will Benson and Jake Fraley hit well against right-handers a year ago, the outfield duo was virutally unplayable against left-handed pitching. Hernandez's splits were much more even in 2023.

A weak free agent class is likely to drive up Hernandez's market. Outside of the aforementioned Bellinger, Shohei Ohtani, and Matt Chapman, there aren't too many impact bats on the open market. Hernandez is likely looking for at least $20-million per year.

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