YouWager experts have learned that the Boston Red Sox have decided to ofiacially extended qualifying offers of $14.1 million for one year to free agents center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, shortstop Stephen Drew and first baseman Mike Napoli.
General manager Ben Cherington confirmed this Monday afternoon, hours before the deadline for these actions.
Each player can either choose to accept the offer and play 2014 with the one-year deal, or try free agency. If they choose free agency and sign with another MLB team, that team forfeits a top pick (the first 11 picks are protected, so those teams would then give up a second-round selection) and Boston receives a compensatory pick in next season’s first-year player draft.
The Red Sox have decided not to make a qualifying offer to free-agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, which means a team can sign him without paying the price of a draft pick.
The remarkable coming together of the 2013 team has left Cherington wanting to keep as much in place as possible.
In addition to Saltalamacchia, Boston did not make qualifying offers to infielder John McDonald, acquired in August in a trade with the Cleveland Indians, and injured reliever Joel Hanrahan.
Online sports betting experts expected the offer to Ellsbury, as he will most certainly jump into the free agent waters and net the organization a pick if he moves on to another city. The 30 year-old is widely considered the best free agent on the market behind New York Yankees’ Robinson Cano.