Sox make qualifying offers to Drew, Napoli, Ellsbury

Sox make qualifying offers to Drew, Napoli, Ellsbury
November 4, 2013, 4:45 pm
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Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington explained on Monday afternoon that the team would extend one-year qualifying offers to free agents Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Napoli and Stephen Drew.

Qualifying offers are worth $14.1 million -- the average of the top 125 salaries in baseball -- and if accepted would be guaranteed for the 2014 season.

If Ellsbury, Napoli or Drew reject their qualifying offers, they will then be able to negotiate contracts with any team, the Red Sox included. If those three decide to sign elsewhere, however, the Red Sox would be awarded a compensatory draft pick.

Players who receive qualifying offers have until Nov. 11 to decide whether they will either accept or reject the deals.

Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, infielder John McDonald and reliever Joel Hanrahan -- also scheduled to hit free agency -- were not extended qualifying offers.

Saltalamacchia hit .273/.338/.466 with 14 homers and 65 RBI during the regular season, but he struggled throughout Boston's run to a World Series title, hitting .188 with one extra-base hit and five RBI in 35 plate appearances. He also made an ill-advised throw that led to a Cardinals walk-off win on an obstruction call in Game 3, and he lost his starting job to backup David Ross for the final three games of the series.

Free agents not extended qualifying offers, like Saltalamacchia, still have an opportunity to negotiate new contracts with their former clubs.