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Hanley Ramirez declines Dodgers' qualifying offer, as expected

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Lisa Blumenfeld

LOS ANGELES -- Hanley Ramirez declined the Dodgers' qualifying offer of one year, $15.3 million on Monday, the Major League Baseball Players Association announced, meaning the team will get draft pick compensation should the shortstop sign with a new team.

This was not a surprise, mostly because Ramirez is arguably the most coveted bat on the free agent market and a lock to get a major league deal, and also because everyone declines the qualifying offer, including several players with far less robust markets than Ramirez has this winter.

In the three years of this new free agent compensation system per the collective bargaining agreement, 34 players have been given a qualifying offer, a one-year deal of the average of the top 125 salaries in baseball during the previous season.

All 34 have declined the offers, including all 12 this year.

On Friday, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said to that point he had not heard back from Ramirez's camp about the qualifying offer. The deadline to accept or reject the offer was 2 p.m. PT on Monday.

As long as Ramirez signs with a new team before the 2015 draft in June, the Dodgers will get a supplemental draft pick as compensation for losing the free agent, in between the first and second rounds. Any new team that signs Ramirez will lose a draft pick - its first-round pick if the team didn't have one of the worst 10 records in 2014 (Diamondbacks, Rockies, Rangers, Astros, Twins, Red Sox, White Sox, Cubs, Phillies and Reds), or its next-highest pick otherwise - a pick that simply vanishes.

The Dodgers currently pick 27th in the first round, but that will likely change with various free agent signings. For instance, the Dodgers were originally slotted 28th in the first round but with the Mets' signing of Michael Cuddyer - who was extended a qualifying offer by the Rockies - on Monday, New York's No. 15 pick in the first round vanishes into thin air, moving the following first round picks up one.