Yankees’ Soriano, Rangers’ Hamilton Turn Down Qualifying Offers

Rafael Soriano, Hiroki Kuroda and Nick Swisher rejected $13.3 million qualifying offers from the New York Yankees and Josh Hamilton turned down an equivalent bid from the Texas Rangers as all chose to be free agents.

Outfielders Michael Bourn, who played for the Atlanta Braves last season, and B.J. Upton, who was with the Tampa Bay Rays, also were among nine Major League Baseball players who declined the $13.3 million offers, the Major League Baseball Players Association said yesterday in a news release.

First baseman Adam LaRoche, who played with the Washington Nationals in 2012; pitcher Kyle Lohse of the St. Louis Cardinals; and designted hitter David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox also were listed. Ortiz agreed on a two-year deal to return, the team announced on Nov. 6, making his rejection of the offer a formality.

Under new terms of the major leagues’ collective bargaining agreement with its players, teams can make one-year qualifying offers for the average of the previous season’s 125 top salaries, which this year is $13.3 million.

The players still may re-sign with their previous team. If they sign elsewhere, their former franchise will be compensated with a draft pick.

Soriano, 32, had 42 saves in 46 appearances last season, filling in for the injured Mariano Rivera, who has said he’d like to return in 2013.

The 31-year-old Swisher, who played four seasons with the Yankees, batted .272 with 24 home runs and 93 runs batted in in 2012, playing in 148 games, including 41 at first base.

Yankees Season

Kuroda, 37, went 16-11 with a 3.32 earned run average in his first season with the Yankees following four years with the Los Angeles Dodgers. His career record is 57-57 with a 3.42 ERA.

Hamilton, the 2010 American League Most Valuable Player, batted .285 with a career-high 43 home runs and 128 runs batted in last season. The 31-year-old outfielder has a .304 career batting average.

Bourn, 29, stole 42 bases in 2012, posting a .274 batting average with nine home runs and 57 RBI.

The 28-year-old Upton batted .246 with 28 home runs and 78 RBI for the Rays.

Lohse, 34, went 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA in his fifth year with the Cardinals.

LaRoche, 33, hit .271 with a career-high 33 homers and 100 RBI in his second season in Washington.

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