Red Sox Will Make Qualifying Offers To Napoli, Ellsbury and Drew

An article by posted on October 31, 2013

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is reporting that the Red Sox plan on extending qualifying offers to first baseman Mike Napoli, centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, and surprisingly shortstop Stephen Drew.

The Napoli and Ellsbury QOs were widely expected, but tendering Drew an offer comes as a surprise for the Red Sox as they were expected to hand the shortstop job to top prospect Xander Bogaerts.

The Red Sox are banking that Drew will decline the $14.1 million offer, but he has loved his time Boston and would be getting a considerable raise over the $9.5 million he earned in 2013.

All three players have been mentioned as potential Mets targets at one time or another in the past six weeks, with Drew being the one most often speculated on.

Despite a terrible postseason, Drew batted .247/.330/.431 this season with a very respectable .760 OPS for a shortstop. At 26.1% his strikeout rate is kind of high, but he offsets with a very respectable 11.1% walk rate. Defensively he should be fine and his 4.4 UZR/150 and 3.0 UZR this season are near to his career averages.

I like Drew, but he’s somewhat overrated. Will he be an upgrade over Tejada or Quintanilla? Absolutely, but not that big of an upgrade considering the switch in ballparks. I doubt he’ll produce +3 WAR going forward, but if he can touch 2.0 and the price is right, I’ll bite.

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