Deadline day: 3 of 20 free agents accept $15.8 million qualifying offer

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This year a record 20 free agents received a qualifying offer valued at $15.8 million for one season and 16 of them declined it, hitting the open market.

Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus, Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, and Dodgers left-hander Brett Anderson accepted the one-year, $15.8 million offer to remain with their previous teams and Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada agreed to a two-year, $26 million deal prior to the accept/decline deadline.

Before this year no free agent had ever accepted a qualifying offer, so this represents a big shift in the process.

Below you’ll find the full lists.

ACCEPTED:
Brett Anderson, Dodgers
Colby Rasmus, Astros
Matt Wieters, Orioles

BYPASSED WITH MULTI-YEAR DEAL:
Marco Estrada, Blue Jays

DECLINED:
Wei-Yin Chen, Orioles
Chris Davis, Orioles
Ian Desmond, Nationals
Dexter Fowler, Cubs
Yovani Gallardo, Rangers
Alex Gordon, Royals
Zack Greinke, Dodgers
Jason Heyward, Cardinals
Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners
Howie Kendrick, Dodgers
Ian Kennedy, Padres
John Lackey, Cardinals
Daniel Murphy, Mets
Jeff Samardzija, White Sox
Justin Upton, Padres
Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals

Each of the 16 free agents to decline the qualifying offer now have draft pick compensation attached to signing them, which in some cases could significantly hurt their number of interested suitors.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

albert pujols
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).