MINNEAPOLIS -- Jake Odorizzi is banking on the sure thing.
The Twins pitcher accepted the team's one-year, $17.8 million qualifying offer at Thursday's deadline rather than risk the waters of free agency.
He turns 30 in March and was projected to get free agent offers in the range of three years and $50 million.
The 29-year-old right-hander was 15-7 with a 3.51 ERA and a 3.6 WAR last season when the Twins won the American League Central title.
"I really enjoyed my two years here and I think I've been pretty straightforward about that," Odorizzi said on Oct. 8 after the Twins were eliminated by the Yankees in the AL Division Series. "I try to be as straightforward as possible with just about everything. That's just the kind of person I am and if I'm back that would be great. I've really taken a liking to here. If not, I wish nothing but the best for everybody. This is a great group top to bottom."
Odorizzi and White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu were the only players to accept qualifying offers.
Seven who rejected offers to head into free agency are Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole, Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon and pitcher Stephen Strasburg, Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler, Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner, Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson and St. Louis outfielder Marcell Ozuna. Giants reliever Will Smith rejected a qualifying offer and agreed to a three-year, $40 million deal with Atlanta.
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