The Blue Jays are expected to make a qualifying offer to both Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, but not Michael Saunders, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports. This year's qualifying offer is valued at $17.2 million, and this process ensures that Toronto will receive a compensatory draft pick if Encarnacion or Bautista depart in free agency.
Both players are highly unlikely to accept the offer, but Toronto's front office surely will not mind if they return. As a result, there's little risk in this decision, as the Blue Jays could count on a bounce back season from Bautista.
Earlier today, I suggested that the Blue Jays should not offer a qualifying offer to Michael Saunders, claiming that he would be a near lock to accept an offer. Given his injury history, poor defensive numbers, and weak second half, it seems that $17.2 million would be better spent elsewhere.
Jon Heyman provides us with more news, claiming that Toronto's focus is on Encarnacion rather than Bautista:
Expectation is, Jays will extend qualifying offer to EE, joey bats, not saunders. They want EE back, seem ambivalent on JB.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 6, 2016