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You can cross Jake Odorizzi off your free agent wish list

One of the names the Blue Jays had been linked to early on this off-season — and a name many fans had been talking about for months as an ideal fit — is off the free-agent list before things even got rolling. Jake Odorizzi has reportedly accepted his qualifying offer from the Minnesota Twins.

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After Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, Odorizzi’s name was towards the top of the list for free-agent starters. Thanks to a bounceback season in which he posted a 3.51 ERA and made his first-ever All-Star appearance, the 29-year-old seemed primed to get himself a nice payday this winter. But instead, he’ll bet on himself, and do it all over again next winter.

This seems like an odd choice for Odorizzi, given that he’s coming off of the best season of his career. But since players can only be qualified once, Odorizzi will be able to head straight to the free-agent market next winter without any draft pick compensation attached to him. It’s also a much, much weaker free-agent market next year for starters, so another year like he had in 2019 could realistically make him the best starting pitcher on the market.

Well, that’s a shame. Now go sign Gerrit Cole, you cowards!!!

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Also! Will Smith, the best closer on this year’s free-agent market, inked a multi-year deal with the Braves just now. Not that it matters to us at all on the surfact, but I figured it’s relevant because it starts to give an idea about what a Ken Giles extension would look like. Also, given the best reliever has already signed, the dominoes this winter seem to be falling quickly, and we could start to hear trade talks around Giles heating up.