Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista reject qualifying offers from Blue Jays

Free-agent first baseman Edwin Encarnacion and free-agent outfielder Jose Bautista each rejected one-year, $17.2 million qualifying offers from the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday as they will seek new contracts on the open market.

Encarnacion, 33, rebounded from a slow start to the 2016 season to reach career highs in home runs (42) and RBIs (127), the latter tying for the American League lead. Overall, he slashed .263/.357/.529 across 702 plate appearances.

The 36-year-old Bautista was limited to 116 games as a result of injuries, but still managed to swat 22 home runs and knock in 69 runs while slashing .234/.366/.452.

Bautista and Encarnacion have been fixtures in the middle of the Blue Jays' lineup for the better part of the last decade, arriving in Toronto in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

The Blue Jays will receive a compensatory draft pick if Encarnacion or Bautista sign with another team.

Chris Cotillo of SB Nation first reported Encarnacion's decision, while Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports first reported Bautista's decision.