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No qualifying offers by A's to Colon, Balfour

Club will not receive Draft choice if free-agent pitchers leave Oakland

OAKLAND -- The A's did not extend qualifying offers to free-agent pitchers Bartolo Colon and Grant Balfour, so Oakland will not receive Draft compensation should the veterans sign elsewhere.

Such an offer was worth $14.1 million this year, a hefty price tag for the A's, especially considering the wealth of depth that already exists on their pitching staff.

The club maintains exclusive negotiating rights with both players until 8:59 p.m. PT on Monday. After that, both players are allowed to sign with any team, including the A's

There were a total of 13 qualifying offers made around the league on Monday, a jump from last offseason, when only nine received the offer. None of the nine accepted last winter.

Colon, who will turn 41 in May, is more likely to return to Oakland, unless the market takes him out of the A's price range following his 18-win season. Then there's Balfour, who appears to be as good as gone since the A's typically don't commit big money to their bullpen.

Balfour compiled 38 saves with the A's in 2013, and should he depart as expected, youngsters Ryan Cook and Sean Doolittle are the clear in-house options to take over as closer.

Jane Lee is a reporter for

Oakland Athletics, Grant Balfour, Bartolo Colon