Lester, Kluber, Hand boost free agent total to 175

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FILE - In this July 26, 2020, file photo, Texas Rangers starting pitcher Corey Kluber pitches against the Colorado Rockies in the first inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, declined the $18 million contract option on Kluber, who lasted just one inning in his only start before a shoulder injury ended his season. Kluber gets a $1 million buyout, and the club has said it is interested in re-signing Kluber to a less expensive deal. (AP Photo/Louis DeLuca, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Jon Lester, Corey Kluber and Brad Hand were among 15 more major leaguers who became free agents Friday when teams declined their 2021 options, many the victims of budget cuts following a regular season without fans due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Also cut loose were Milwaukee infielders Jedd Gyorko and Eric Sogard, Chicago White Sox designated hitter Edwin Encarnación and left-hander Gio González, and Philadelphia relievers David Robertson, Héctor Neris and David Phelps.

AL champion Tampa Bay declined 2021 options on right-hander Charlie Morton and catcher Mike Zunino but say it remains hopeful of re-signing them.

There are 175 players who became free agents following the World Series and about 15 more can go free this weekend. Among the remaining decisions are on player options by Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton, Boston designated hitter JD Martinez, Cincinnati outfielder Nick Castellanos and Mets reliever Dellin Betances.

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