It isn’t all that surprising, but it’s finally official.
The Red Sox announced Monday that Jacoby Ellsbury, Stephen Drew and Mike Napoli have all declined one-year qualifying offers from the club. The qualifying offers, which were tendered last week, carried a $14.1 million salary for 2014, and each player had until 5 p.m. Monday to either accept or decline.
Ellsbury, Drew and Napoli have hit the open market, although all are free to continue negotiating with the Red Sox. If any of the players sign elsewhere, the signing team for each player — under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement — will be forced to relinquish a draft pick to the Red Sox as compensation.
It’s believed that Ellsbury, Drew and Napoli are all searching for multiyear contracts, hence their respective rejections.