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Brett Anderson accepts Dodgers qualifying offer; Zack Greinke, Howie Kendrick decline

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- Two of the three Dodgers who were extended qualifying offers last week declined them on Friday, with Zack Greinke and Howie Kendrick electing to venture into the open free agent market. But pitcher Brett Anderson has accepted the one-year, $15.8 million offer and will return in 2016.

Anderson had to be a close call, weighing the benefits of being a free agent and hitting the open market coming off his first fully healthy season in six years with the upside of earning $15.8 million for one year and the chance to join a free agent market not so pitching-rich after 2016.

Anderson was 10-9 with a 3.69 ERA for the Dodgers in 2016, setting career highs in starts (31) and innings (180⅓) and led the major leagues in ground ball rate. He signed a one-year deal with a $10 million base salary last year, and earned an additional $2.4 million in performance bonuses.

Of the 20 free agents to receive qualifying offers, 10 are pitchers. Two others accepted, and both were position players, with outfielder Colby Rasmus returning to Houston and catcher Matt Wieters accepting the offer in Baltimore. Starting pitcher Marco Estrada inked a two-year deal to remain in Toronto.

The necessary procedural move means the Dodgers would receive a 2016 draft pick in between the first and second rounds for Greinke or Kendrick should they sign with another team. The signing team would forfeit their first-round pick, or if protected their next-highest selection.

Should both sign elsewhere, the Dodgers could have as many as four draft picks in the first 50 or so selections in 2016. They currently own the 25th pick in the first round, and the No. 36 overall pick as compensation for failing to sign Kyle Funkhouser, the No. 35 overall pick in the 2015 draft.

But the Dodgers are still trying to sign Greinke, one of the top two pitchers on the market if not the top pitcher, depending on your thoughts on David Price.