A total of nine players headed toward free agency were given qualifying offers to stay with their old clubs on Monday. All officially declined the offers, with eight heading to free agency after Friday's 5 p.m. ET deadline passed. While David Ortiz decided to re-up with the Red Sox, the other eight -- Josh Hamilton of the Rangers, Michael Bourn of the Braves, Kyle Lohse of the Cardinals, Adam LaRoche of the Nationals, B.J. Upton of the Rays and Hiroki Kuroda, Rafael Soriano and Nick Swisher of the Yankees -- will now see what the open market has to offer. "This decision doesn't preclude us from continuing our dialogue with B.J.," Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said in an e-mail. "All it does is ensure that we receive something of value if B.J. signs elsewhere." Under the old free-agency system, teams made the decision whether or not to offer their free agents arbitration. If a player refused, teams would get a bonus pick in the following year's First-Year Player Draft. Under the new system, free agents had to be offered contracts, not just arbitration, worth at least the average of the top 125 player salaries from 2012 -- $13.3 million to be precise -- for teams to be eligible for one of those sandwich picks. With Ortiz staying put, that means that Compensation Round A, which had 29 picks in 2012, will have just eight selections. Those compensation picks, like the first round of the Draft, come in reverse order of standings. So, assuming none of the eight players re-sign with their original clubs, after the Nationals take the No. 31 pick (as of now) to complete the first round (the Pirates have an extra pick at No. 9 for not signing Mark Appel this past summer), the Cardinals would kick off the sandwich round. The Rays, Rangers and Braves would come next, followed by the Yankees' three picks. The Nationals would close out the supplemental round with pick No. 39 before the Draft heads to the first Competitive Balance Lottery round.
All nine players turn down qualifying offers
MLB.com | Nov 9