Report: MLB sets qualifying offer at $17.9 million
Mitchell Layton / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Major League Baseball has reportedly set its offseason qualifying offer at $17.9 million, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

That figure represents a small step up from last winter, when the qualifying offer was set at $17.4 million.

Under the terms of MLB's collective bargaining agreement, teams can offer their free agents a qualifying offer at the beginning of the offseason. A player who accepts the offer would then return to their original team on a one-year contract at $17.9 million, the average of 2018's top 125 contracts. Players who reject the qualifying offer would bring their would-be former team draft-pick compensation in the event they sign elsewhere.

Players can only be tendered a qualifying offer once in their careers. Additionally, free agents who changed teams during the 2018 season are ineligible to receive a qualifying offer.

Last season, nine players received qualifying offers, and all nine rejected them in favor of free agency. Only five players - Colby Rasmus, Matt Wieters, Brett Anderson, Neil Walker, and Jeremy Hellickson - have accepted the one-year deal since MLB implemented the system in 2012.

Candidates to potentially receive a qualifying offer this year include superstars Bryce Harper, Clayton Kershaw - who can opt out of his contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers - and Craig Kimbrel.

Report: MLB sets qualifying offer at $17.9 million
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