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George Springer declines Astros' qualifying offer, officially becomes free agent

It will be the first time for the 31-year-old outfielder to hit the open market.

HOUSTON — Outfielder George Springer declined the Houston Astros' qualifying offer at the 4 p.m. deadline on Wednesday. It means the 31-year-old will be able to test the open market for the first time in his career.

Astros General Manager James Click announced that the team extended the offer on Nov. 1.

RELATED: Astros extend qualifying offer to George Springer

Springer hit .265 in 51 games in 2020 with 37 runs scored, 14 home runs and 32 RBI. He led the club in runs, home runs and OPS (.899). In 13 postseason games, Springer hit four home runs with 10 RBI.

Qualifying offers began after the 2012 season, and only seven of 96 offers have been accepted.

If any of the players who decline the qualifying offer signs with a new team, his former club would receive a draft pick as compensation at the end of the first round of next year’s amateur draft or at the end of competitive balance round B. The placement depends on whether the new contract is worth $50 million or more and the revenue-sharing and luxury tax status of the team losing the player.

A team signing the player would give up either its third-highest draft pick, its second-highest pick and $500,000 of international signing bonus allotment or its second- and fifth-highest selections and $1 million of international signing bonus allotment, depending on revenue-sharing and luxury tax status of the signing club.

Editor's note: The video attached to this article is from a report on Oct. 29.