The Red Sox will make qualifying offers to Jacoby Ellsbury (pictured, left), Mike Napoli, and Stephen Drew, according to MLB Trade Rumors. According to MLB Trade Rumors, Mike Napoli will get a $14.1 million offer, which would only be a raise of $1 million since he hit all of his incentives last year. Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors is projecting that Napoli will recive an offer of 3 years and $42 million.
Stephen Drew is another who is expected to receive an offer, according to MLB Trade Rumors. While Drew wasn't spectacular at the plate this year (.253/.333/.443 slash line), his defense was crucial to us winning the championship (remind us Jim - how many games did we win with Drew?) and he hit a big solo shot in the clinching game in the World Series. Although re-signing Drew could be more of a risk than Nap or Ellsbury because the shortstop of the future has arrived in Xander Bogaerts, so Stephen Drew could be considered less essential the Nap or Jacoby Ellsbury.
Now for the big one: Jacoby Ellsbury. As our own Jan Sorenson posted earlier, the Yankees have already reportedly expressed interest in Ellsbury, not surprisingly. There is probably plenty of interest in Ells that we're not hearing right at this moment, because MLB Trade Rumors ranks him as the #2 free agent behind Yankees 2nd baseman Robinson Cano. His speed and fielding ability would be a huge asset to whoever is willing to pay the Scott Boras asking price, which I'm sure will be hefty.
Personally, I say pay Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Napoli and let Drew walk. I'm grateful for what Drew did at shortstop with his glove, but Xander can be just as good with better numbers at the plate than Drew.
These next few weeks and months should be interesting and the future of the Red Sox organization will be shaped for years depending on what we do.
Thoughts? Let me know on Twitter (@ConorJF1016) or leave a comment.