BOSTON (CBS) – Now that the victory parade has come and gone, the World Champion Red Sox are putting the 2013 season behind them and looking towards the future. The Sox began that process on Monday, making qualifying offers to three of their four free-agents-to-be.
GM Ben Cherington announced that he will make one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offers to first baseman Mike Napoli, center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and shortstop Stephen Drew prior to Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline at a press conference at Fenway Park on Monday afternoon.
The odd man out is catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who struggled mightily this postseason behind the plate, and was equally ineffective with the glove.
By making a qualifying offer to players, teams would receive a draft pick in compensation should that player sign elsewhere. If no offer is made, the player becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Felger & Mazz addressed the free agents, discussing scenarios they’d like to see play out in the offseason and who they want back. Each of the four players has different circumstances, but a consensus was reached between Felger & Mazz that they want Mike Napoli back.
“Napoli is easy,” said Tony Massarotti. “They just paid him one year and $13 million, so their attitude is ‘Fine, we’ll pay you $14 million for one year. We’ll go one year with you all you want.’ [Stephen] Drew is the tricky one. I’m half wondering if what they really want out of this is the draft pick. I have a hard time believing [Scott] Boras would accept this.”
“My guess is that Stephen Drew ends up elsewhere. I hope he ends up elsewhere because I want [Xander] Bogaerts at shortstop,” Mazz continued.
Marc Bertrand is on the same page with Mazz, and wants the Red Sox to commit to Xander Bogaerts. Stephen Drew would just be a roadblock to the young prospect’s playing time in his opinion.
Mazz wants Jarrod Saltalamacchia back. He would rather keep him then pay for an unknown commodity in free agency like a Brian McCann. Besides, Salty hits lefties and catchers aren’t great offensive players anyways.
When it comes to center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, everyone agrees he’s not coming back. “Sayonara,” said Mike Felger on Ellsbury.
For more free agent talk and analysis, listen below: