Red Sox Give Three Free Agents $14.1 Million Qualifying Offers

The World Series-champion Boston Red Sox tendered one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offers to three of their free agents: outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, first baseman Mike Napoli and shortstop Stephen Drew.

The $14.1 million figure is the average of the 125 richest player contracts in Major League Baseball, under terms of the sport’s labor agreement with its players’ union. Thirteen free agents were given qualifying offers before yesterday’s deadline.

If Ellsbury, Napoli or Drew signs with another team as a free agent, the Red Sox would get a compensation pick following the first round of the MLB draft. Players have until Nov. 11 to accept or decline a qualifying offer, while MLB teams can negotiate new contracts with any free agents, regardless of whether an offer was made.

The Red Sox didn’t make qualifying offers to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and pitcher Joel Hanrahan.

The New York Yankees yesterday made qualifying offers to second baseman Robinson Cano, outfielder Curtis Granderson and pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, the team said.

The Texas Rangers made a qualifying offer to outfielder Nelson Cruz, who was suspended by MLB for the final 50 games of the 2013 regular season for his connection to Biogenesis of America LLC, the Miami-area clinic accused of supplying players with banned performance-enhancing drugs.

Other free agents to receive qualifying offers were outfielders Carlos Beltran of the St. Louis Cardinals and Shin-Soo Choo of the Cincinnati Reds; catcher Brian McCann from the Atlanta Braves; first baseman Kendrys Morales from the Seattle Mariners, and pitchers Ubaldo Jimenez of the Cleveland Indians and Ervin Santana of the Kansas City Royals.

Last year, none of the nine MLB free agents who were offered qualifying offers accepted them.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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