Red Sox trio decline qualifying offers

ORLANDO, Fla. — The deadline to decide on qualifying offers is at 5 p.m. but the Red Sox have been told that Stephen Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Napoli will decline the one-year, $14.1 million deals.

It’s official for Napoli at this point and will be soon for Drew and Ellsbury.

This is not a surprise as all three players expect to land multi-year contracts as free agents.

Drew, Ellsbury and Napoli can continue to negotiate with the Red Sox. If they sign with another team, the Red Sox will receive a supplemental first round draft pick.

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Napoli has said he wants to return to Boston and there is a decent chance the sides will work out a deal. The Red Sox also have expressed an interest in retaining Drew. But he could command a three-year deal on the market given the lack of shortstops.

Ellsbury has consistently spurned offers to sign a contract extension with the Red Sox and is expected to land a deal in excess of $100 million. Red Sox officials have said they would like to keep Ellsbury but acknowledge the difficulty.

UPDATE, 5:22 p.m.: The Red Sox announced that all three players officially declined. In fact, all 13 players in the majors made qualifying offers declined them.

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