Cardinals make $15.8M qualifying offers to Heyward, Lackey

NEW YORK (AP) The St. Louis Cardinals have made $15.8 million qualifying offers to two of their players who became free agents: outfielder Jason Heyward and pitcher John Lackey.

Teams had until 5 p.m. EST to make the offers. Players have until Nov. 13 to accept.

In the three previous offseasons of the current collective bargaining agreement, none of the 34 qualifying offers was accepted.

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An offer could be made only to a free agent who was with the team for the entire season. The price was determined by the average of the top 125 major league contracts this year by average annual value.

If a team made a qualifying offer to a player who signs a major league contract with another club before the June amateur draft, his former club would receive a draft pick as compensation at the end of the first round.

The club signing that player loses its first-round pick in the amateur draft, unless that pick is among the top 10, in which case the club signing that player loses its next-highest pick.

Lackey, a 37-year-old right-hander, was 13-10 with a 2.77 ERA. Heyward, 26, hit .293 with 13 homers and 60 RBIs.