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Felipe Lopez declines arbitration offer

11.30.10 at 12:26 pm ET

According to a baseball source, free agent Felipe Lopez declined the Red Sox‘ offer of salary arbitration. The Type B free agent, who was signed by the Sox in the final days of the season after being released by the Cardinals in September, will instead pursue a contract on the open market. Presuming that he does not re-sign with the Sox, Boston will get a compensatory draft pick in the sandwich round when he departs — a key reason that the Sox wanted to sign him at the end of the season.

Lopez hit .231 with a .651 OPS in 109 games with the Cardinals before getting released for what the team deemed unacceptable behavior. He was claimed on release waivers by the Padres, but declined the claim to become a free agent, allowing him to sign a deal with Boston. He appeared in four games for the Sox, hitting .267 with a .779 OPS. The 10-year veteran is a career .266 hitter with a .731 OPS. He signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Cardinals last season.

Lopez was one of three Red Sox players who was offered arbitration. Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre, both Type A free agents, also received arbitration offers. Martinez signed with the Tigers, meaning that the Sox will get one of Detroit’s draft picks (unless they sign Jayson Werth, their first-round pick, No. 19 overall) as well as a sandwich pick. Should Beltre elect to sign with another club, he would also entitle the Sox to a pair of compensatory draft picks.

The Sox have acquired a number of key players — including Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury and Anthony Ranaudo — through the years via compensatory draft picks. For a full list of such players acquired under GM Theo Epstein, click here.

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