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Twelve MLB players receive qualifying offers

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Free agency begins on Tuesday, but a dozen players would cost a new team a draft pick to sign.

Melky Cabrera
Melky Cabrera
Tom Szczerbowski

Twelve Major League Baseball players have received qualifying offers, the current collective bargaining agreement's way of compensating teams who lose sought-after free agents to other teams. For the 2015 season, qualifying offers are one-year, $15.3 million contract offers. If a player accepts, he's guaranteed the contract. If he declines, he is free to sign with any team, but a new team signing him would have to give up its highest available pick in the 2015 amateur draft.

While no player has accepted a qualifying offer since the system was put in place a couple of years ago, the cases of Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales—both of whom declined qualifying offers and wound up not signing until after the draft—could make some players think differently about declining this year.

As for the players given qualifying offers this year, they are:

Starting Pitchers

Francisco Liriano
Ervin Santana
Max Scherzer
James Shields

Relief pitchers

David Robertson

Outfielders

Melky Cabrera
Nelson Cruz
Michael Cuddyer

Infielders

Victor Martinez
Hanley Ramirez
Pablo Sandoval

Catchers

Russell Martin

Under general manager Sandy Alderson, the Mets have been reluctant to part with draft picks to sign free agents. It seems fair to assume the team will not sign any of the above players this winter, especially since the Mets' first-round pick is not protected next year.