SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Pitcher Jake Odorizzi accepted a $17.8 million qualifying offer to stay with the Minnesota Twins, and first baseman Jose Abreu took the same amount to remain with the Chicago White Sox as general managers headed home Thursday following their four-day annual meeting.
Just 10 free agents received the offers on Nov. 4, and their former teams will receive draft-pick compensation if they sign elsewhere before the amateur draft in June. Players who did not accept included pitchers Gerrit Cole (Houston), Stephen Strasburg (Washington), Zack Wheeler (New York Mets) and Madison Bumgarner (San Francisco) along with third basemen Anthony Rendon (Washington) and Josh Donaldson (Atlanta) and outfielder Marcell Ozuna (St. Louis).
Odorizzi, a right-hander who turns 30 in March, was a career-best 15-7 with a 3.51 ERA for the AL Central champions, striking out 178 in 159 innings. Abreu hit .284 with 33 homers and his 123 RBIs were second to Rendon’s major league-best 126. He turns 33 in January, and the one-year deal could be a precursor to a multiyear contract with the White Sox.
Braves add ex-Giant Smith to bullpen
ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves made another move to bolster their shaky bullpen, signing left-hander reliever Will Smith to a three-year, $40 million contract.
The free agent deal includes a $13 million option for the 2023 season, with a $1 million buyout.
Smith, 30, went 6-0 with a 2.76 ERA and a career-best 34 saves for San Francisco this past season. He made the All-Star team for the first time.
The NL East champion Braves were looking to upgrade the bullpen after going through several closers last season, including Luke Jackson, Shane Greene and Mark Melancon.
Smith is Atlanta’s fourth free-agent signing of the offseason but the first to change teams. The Braves re-signed outfielder Nick Markakis, catcher Tyler Flowers and reliever Darren O’Day.