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Bautista and Encarnacion reject qualifying offers from Blue Jays

Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion turned down $17.2-million qualifying offers from the Blue Jays.

Ben Margot/AP

Sluggers Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion have rejected qualifying offers from the Toronto Blue Jays.

They had one week to decide whether to accept or decline the one-year offer worth US$17.2 million. When a player declines a qualifying offer and signs elsewhere as a free agent, his former team receives draft pick compensation.

Of the 10 free agents who received qualifying offers, only Jeremy Hellickson of the Philadelphia Phillies and Neil Walker of the New York Mets chose to accept, the Major League Baseball Players Association said Monday in a statement.

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Encarnacion, 33, had 42 homers and 127 RBIs last season while Bautista, 36, hit 22 homers and had 69 RBIs in an injury-plagued campaign.

Neither player was expected to accept the qualifying offer.

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