The St. Louis Cardinals would forfeit their second-highest draft pick in the 2019 draft and lose $500,000 from its international signing bonus pool if they were to sign Bryce Harper or one of the five other players who rejected a qualifying offer, according to a report from MLBtraderumors.com.
Harper, along with Patrick Corbin, Dalla Keuchel, Craig Kimbrel, Yasmani Grandal and A.J. Pollock all turned down a $17.9 million qualifying offer. Because of that, they will cost their new team at least one draft pick.
The Cardinals would face the same penalties as most MLB teams. However, if the Red Sox or Nationals were to sign one of the free agents who rejected a qualifying offer, they would lose their second- and fifth-highest draft picks and lose $1 million from their international signing bonus pool. The Nationals would not be penalized for signing Harper because he played for them in 2018.
The Cardinals are one of several teams chasing the superstar Harper, who is expected to sign a contract for 10 or more years for at least $350 million. While there has been speculation that Harper could sign with Los Angeles, Houston, or return to Washington, at this point there have been no indications what uniform he will wear in 2019.
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Other free agents the Cardinals have been linked to, including Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson and Andrew Miller, will not cost their new team any picks in the draft.