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The St. Louis Cardinals extend qualifying offers to Jason Heyward, John Lackey

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Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

In unsurprising news, the St. Louis Cardinals have officially extended qualifying offers to 26-year-old outfielder Jason Heyward and 37-year-old pitcher John Lackey. To date, no player has ever accepted a qualifying offer. This is not likely to change with Heyward or Lackey, either, as Heyward is on the verge of signing a long-term nine-figure contract, and Lackey has made it known that he wants the security of (at least) a two-year contract. Regardless, this assures that the Cardinals will receive a compensatory draft pick should either player choose to sign elsewhere.

While Lackey and his agent are likely unhappy that they are now "attached" to the forfeiture of a draft pick during contract negotiations, today's news makes John Mozeliak's trade of Allen Craig and Joe Kelly for John Lackey and Corey Littrell look even sweeter. It was already one of Mozeliak's best moves ever, and it appears to be a gift that keeps on giving. Nope, the Cardinals have not "regretted" the John Lackey trade.