NEW YORK – Veteran starter Hisashi Iwakuma has declined $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Seattle Mariners, according to a report Friday on the club’s official website.
The move officially makes the 34-year-old Iwakuma a free agent. The Mariners will receive a compensatory draft pick at the end of the first round if Iwakuma signs elsewhere this offseason, the report said.
Compensation picks will be made in reverse order of teams’ winning percentage from the 2015 season.
Iwakuma was 9-5 with a 3.54 ERA over 122-2/3 innings this season, which included a memorable no-hitter in August against the Baltimore Orioles.
No major leaguer had accepted a qualifying offer in three years through last year since the system was introduced. But this year outfielder Colby Rasmus agreed to the Houston Astros’ $15.8 million qualifying offer, as did Los Angeles Dodgers starter Brett Anderson and Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters.
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