NEW YORK – The World Series champion Boston Red Sox made $14.1 million qualifying offers to free agents Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Napoli and Stephen Drew on Monday, the first deadline day of baseball’s offseason.
Thirteen free agents received the offers, up from nine last year. The Yankees extended offers to second baseman Robinson Cano, outfielder Curtis Granderson and pitcher Hiroki Kuroda.
Players accepting are signed for next season. If a player signs elsewhere, his former team gets an extra draft pick at the end of the first round next June as compensation.
Others receiving offers were Atlanta catcher Brian McCann, Cincinnati outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, Cleveland pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, Kansas City pitcher Ervin Santana, St. Louis outfielder Carlos Beltran, Seattle designated hitter Kendrys Morales and Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz.
Free agents can start talking contracts with all teams today.
The amount of the qualifying offer, which increased by $800,000 this year, is set by baseball’s collective bargaining agreement as the average of the 125 highest contracts.
If a new club signs a player who received a qualifying offer, that team gives up a high draft pick.
Boston general manager Ben Cherington said the Red Sox decided not to make an offer to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, though he would like to re-sign the catcher.
“There’s interest in every one of them,” Cherington said of his free agents. “I also think it’s unlikely that every one of them will be back. … In a vacuum, we’d like to have all of them back.”
Among those who did not receive offers were pitchers Bronson Arroyo of Cincinnati, Matt Garza of Texas, Roy Halladay of Philadelphia, Tim Hudson of Atlanta, Josh Johnson of Toronto and Fernando Rodney of Tampa Bay. Garza was ineligible because he wasn’t with the Rangers on opening day.
Colorado exercised a $4.25 million mutual option with reliever Matt Belisle.