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Jason Heyward, Zack Greinke among 20 MLB free agents to receive 2016 qualifying offer

These players have until Friday, Nov. 13 at 5 p.m. ET to accept or decline the one-year, $15.8 million contract offer.

Outfielder Jason Heyward, 26, is the youngest of the big-name free agents this winter.
Outfielder Jason Heyward, 26, is the youngest of the big-name free agents this winter.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Zack Greinke, Jordan Zimmermann, Jason Heyward and Alex Gordon were among the 20 players to receive qualifying offers from their respective clubs by Friday's 5 p.m. ET deadline, signifying several of the top free agents of the offseason.

A qualifying offer is a one-year, $15.8 million contract offer for 2016, an average of the top 125 salaries in MLB in 2015. The players will have one week, until Friday, Nov. 13 at 5 p.m. ET to accept or decline the offer.

Should the player decline the qualifying offer and then eventually sign elsewhere, his old team will receive a supplement 2016 draft pick in between the first and second rounds. The signing team forfeits its first-round pick, or if the team holds a protected top-10 pick then the signing team would instead forfeit its next-highest draft pick.

In the first three years of the qualifying offer system, 34 free agents were given the qualifying offer — nine in 2012, 13 in 2013 and 12 in 2014 — and all 34 declined the offer.

One caveat of the system is that a player has to have been on his old team for the entire season, so top-tier free agents who were traded midseason (like David Price, Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist for example) cannot be extended a qualifying offer.

Here are the 20 players to receive a qualifying offer this offseason:

  • LHP Brett Anderson, Dodgers
  • LHP Wei-Yin Chen, Orioles
  • 1B Chris Davis, Orioles
  • SS Ian Desmond, Nationals
  • RHP Marco Estrada, Blue Jays
  • OF Dexter Fowler, Cubs
  • RHP Yovani Gallardo, Rangers
  • OF Alex Gordon, Royals
  • RHP Zack Greinke, Dodgers
  • OF Jason Heyward, Cardinals
  • RHP Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners
  • 2B Howie Kendrick, Dodgers
  • RHP Ian Kennedy, Padres
  • RHP John Lackey, Cardinals
  • 2B Daniel Murphy, Mets
  • OF Colby Rasmus, Astros
  • RHP Jeff Samardzija, White Sox
  • OF Justin Upton, Padres
  • C Matt Wieters, Orioles
  • RHP Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals

The Orioles and Dodgers lead the way with three qualifying offers each, with the Cardinals, Nationals and Padres at two each.

The five-day quiet period after the World Series ends on Friday night, with all free agents eligible to sign with new teams by 12:01 a.m. ET on Saturday.