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Jake Odorizzi accepts qualifying offer from Twins

Minnesota Twins right-hander Jake Odorizzi has accepted the $17.8 million qualifying offer for the 2020 season, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:

Signing the qualifying offer means that Odorizzi will enter the market again as an unrestricted free agent next winter. But for now, he remains with the Twins.

Odorizzi had one of the finest seasons of his career in 2019, going 15-7 with a 3.51 ERA (3.36 FIP) in 30 starts. Aside from the win total, he posted career highs in strikeouts (178), ERA+ (131) and K/9 (10.1).

A reunion between Odorizzi and Minnesota was a pretty good bet. The Twins were already losing a number of starters to free agency and still need to fill out the rotation, while Odorizzi is in the second tier of a free agent market saturated with quality starting pitchers.

Aaron Gleeman of The Athletic previously argued for the Twins to give Odorizzi the qualifying offer:

At first glance, $17.8 million may seem like an overpay for Odorizzi in 2020, but it could put the Twins in stronger position to fill the rest of the rotation by setting one solid piece firmly in place and eliminating the worry of coming up empty once the actual market opens. Odorizzi was paid $9.5 million in 2019 for a career year in which he started 30 games with a 3.51 ERA and 178/53 K/BB ratio in 159 innings, making his first All-Star team at age 29. Repeating that performance will be a tall order, but even a pessimistic view of Odorizzi sees him as a quality third starter.

With Odorizzi back in the fold for 2020 on a relatively cheap deal, chief baseball officer Derek Falvey can set about looking for other impact arms.

The Twins are already in contact with Zack Wheeler’s camp, and they could be an option for Madison Bumgarner after the two sides were closely linked at the trade deadline.