BOSTON -- The Red Sox are planning to make the $14.1 million qualifying offer to shortstop Stephen Drew and first baseman Mike Napoli in addition to star outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.
The Red Sox won a World Series thanks in part to their short-term deals, and Drew and Napoli became vital parts of the team after signing such deals. The Red Sox would be happy to bring them both back, but by making the qualifying offer, it also sets them up to receive compensatory first-round draft choices should either leave.
In the afterglow of the championship, Napoli said, "I want to be here. I love this place."
Napoli had originally agreed agreed to a $39 million, three-year deal with the Red Sox that was cut down to a $5 million, one-year guarantee plus considerable incentives after a chronic hip condition was discovered in the medical exam. He earned his $13 million this year via the incentives, and would seem in line to make at least that much per year on a multiyear deal after a fine season where he provided the power sought and proved very adept at first base. He hit .259 with 23 homers and 92 RBI.
Drew played on a one-year deal for $9.5 million this year and is in line for a multiyear deal at a raise after having a nice season a full year removed from his ankle injury. Drew hit .253 with 13 home runs and 67 RBI and ranked high in OPS (.777) among shortstops.
For all the criticism of Drew's hitting in the playoffs, he was a major key defensively, which manager John Farrell appreciated.
Ellsbury is the second biggest star on the free-agent market, after Robinson Cano, so there never was a debate on a qualifying offer there.
It isn't known if catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia will also receive a qualifying offer. He had a pretty productive regular season but was replaced for the final three games of the World Series by veteran David Ross as Boston won the championship.