The Giants clearly liked what they saw from Kevin Gausman this season, and will do what it takes to keep him in San Francisco. They even made a bit of a surprise move Sunday when it comes to Gausman's future.
San Francisco extended an $18.9 million qualifying offer to Gausman before Sunday's 2 p.m. PT deadline, the team announced.
The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly was first to report the news. MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reported Gausman is one of six players who received the qualifying offer.
If Gausman accepts the qualifying offer, the Giants will have him under contract for the 2021 season at a hefty price. If he rejects it and signs with another team, the Giants will receive draft compensation, and the club that signs him would lose a draft pick.
This worked out well for the Giants last offseason, when they handed qualifying offers to Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith. Both players declined and signed with other teams, and the Giants received two additional picks in a shortened draft. The Giants drafted lefty Nick Swiney with the pick they received from Bumgarner signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and shortstop Jimmy Glowenke with the pick they received from Smith signing with the Atlanta Braves.
Gausman, who turns 30 years old in January, went 3-3 with a 3.62 ERA this year. He struck out 79 batters in 59 2/3 innings, and averaged 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings. The Giants have shown interest in re-signing Gausman and Drew Smyly this offseason, and it appears they're very serious when it comes to Gausman. Baggarly reported the Giants are working on a long-term contract with Gausman, who also has expressed interest in staying in San Francisco.
The former No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft proved to be a steal for the Giants after signing a one-year, $9 million contract at the Winter Meetings. Now, he could be in a Giants jersey for years to come.