|Jamie Squire/Getty Images|
According to Yahoo Sports, 12 players were tagged with 1-year/$15.3 million qualifying offers, including James Shields and Pablo Sandoval, both of whom have been heavily linked with the Red Sox. Other players that were made qualifying offers include Max Scherzer (Detroit Tigers), Victor Martinez (Detroit), Nelson Cruz (Baltimore Orioles), Hanley Ramirez (LA Dodgers), Melky Cabrera (Toronto Blue Jays), Francisco Liriano, Russell Martin (both Pittsburgh Pirates), David Roberston (NY Yankees), Ervin Santana (Atlanta Braves), and Michael Cuddyer (Colorado Rockies).
So, what does that mean for the Red Sox? Extending a qualifying to a player means that teams have to compensate the players' previous team with a draft pick if the player rejects and signs elsewhere, so it may make them hesitant to go after these guys if it means they have to give up a draft pick. Sandoval has already rejected his qualifying offer, so do the Sox really want to go after him knowing they have to give up a draft pick? It would certainly make me hesitate if I was in Ben Cherington's position, but I'm not in his position, so my opinion doesn't matter. Yahoo Sports also notes that no player has accepted a qualifying offer since the system was instituted 2 years ago, so it might be a good idea for the Sox to look elsewhere for a starting pitcher, since Shields will likely reject his offer as well (cough Lester cough). The Red Sox could still go after these guys, but I think they'll be a little more hesitant knowing they'll have to give up draft picks for these guys.