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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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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