Red Sox rumors: Mike Napoli, Stephen Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury to receive qualifying offers

Mike Ehrmann

Boston is expected to make the one-year, $14.1 million contract offer to three of its impending free agents.

The Boston Red Sox are planning to make qualifying offers to shortstop Stephen Drew and first baseman Mike Napoli in addition to center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

It's long been expected that Boston would make the one-year, $14.1 million offer to Ellsbury, who is set to be one of the most sought-after commodities on the open market this winter. The additions of Napoli and Drew come as a bit more of a surprise, though really only because the expectations for them going into 2013 were so low.

Napoli had serious injury concerns coming into the season, forcing the Red Sox to adjust his multi-year contract down to just one year and $5 million guaranteed. The 32-year-old converted catcher was able to stay healthy all year, however, and hit all of his incentive benchmarks, upping his salary to $13 million.

The slugger batted .259/.360/.482 with 23 home runs in 129 games overall on the year, demonstrating in a big way that his degenerative hip isn't as much of an issue as the Red Sox initially thought. Napoli has expressed that he'd like to return to Boston next season, but the pull of a lucrative multi-year deal elsewhere may lead him away.

Drew, 30, came to Boston on a one-year, $9.5 million deal last winter. Signed to serve primarily as a stopgap for top prospect Xander Bogaerts, Drew brushed off the ankle injuries that set him back in 2011 and 2012 to put together one of his best seasons in the bigs. The slick-fielding shortstop batted .253/.333/.443 with 13 home runs in 124 games, setting himself up for a multi-year deal somewhere this winter should he decide to turn down Boston's offer.

If/when the qualifying offers are declined, the Red Sox will receive compensatory picks between the first and second rounds of the 2014 Draft.

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