Japanese Major League baseball star Ohtani Shohei has declined a qualifying offer from his former team the Los Angeles Angels, instead choosing to remain a free agent.
A qualifying offer is a one-year contract tendered to free agents by their former teams. It is set at the mean salary of the MLB's 125 highest-paid players, which is a record 20.325 million dollars this year.
Most star players who become free agents reject the offer, as they expect to sign more lucrative multi-year contracts. Since the system was implemented in 2012, only 13 players out of 131 who received a qualifying offer have accepted it.
The MLB Players' Association says this year there were seven players who received qualifying offers, but none had accepted them by Tuesday's deadline.
Ohtani can continue to negotiate with any team, including the Angels.
If a free agent who turns down a qualifying offer eventually signs a contract with another team, the club that lost the player is eligible for an additional draft pick as compensation the following year.