Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn highlight MLB qualifying offers

Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

Several teams issued qualified offers to eligible players Friday night, as MLB's new collective bargaining rules went into effect this offseason. Players who received offers have seven days to decide whether to accept them. If they don't, their teams will receive a compensation pick if they sign elsewhere.

Under the rules of the newest Collective Bargaining Agreement, MLB teams had to decide Friday whether to make qualifying offers to departing free agents. Some of baseball's biggest names -- including Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton and Atlanta's Michael Bourn, received offers, but a few notable players did not. Players have seven days to decide whether to accept offers or to become free agents.

This qualifying offer system replaces the Type A/B free-agent compensation system in place until the new Collective Bargaining Agreement signed between MLB and the Players Union. That offer is determined by the average of the top 125 salaries from last season. The average for 2012 is $13.3 million. The team can extend such offers to any free agent who played a full season. If the player refuses the offer, the team will receive a compensation pick when he signs with another team.

- Hamilton has received a qualifying offer from the Rangers slightly below the $13.75 million he received last season, so it's likely that the 31-year-old outfielder will decline it and test the free market. Hamilton hit .285 with 43 home runs and 128 RBI in 148 games with Texas in 2012, and has been rumored to be coveted by several franchises, including the Braves.

- Bourn has a qualifying offer from the Braves to consider. Bourn collected a .274 batting average with 57 RBI, nine homers and 26 doubles for Atlanta.

- David Ortiz got a qualifying offer from the Red Sox, and several reports point out that a deal between Boston and the Dominican designated hitter has been reached Friday night. Ortiz hit .318 with 60 RBI and 23 homers with the Red Sox last year.

- The New York Yankees extended offers to closer Rafael Soriano, starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda and right-fielder Nick Swisher. While Soriano and Swisher want long-term deals, Kuroda seems poised to accept the Yankees' proposal of $13.3 million.

- Kyle Lohse, one of the leading candidates for the NL Cy Young Award, had a quaifying offer issued by the St. Louis Cardinals. Lohse went 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA, and will certainly be on the radar if he becomes a free agent.

- The Nationals also made a qualifying offer to Adam LaRoche. He comes off a season with career-high numbers in homers (33) and RBI (100). LaRoche could get a deal in the range of three years and $36 million.

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