The Boston Red Sox offering qualifying offers to both Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Napoli were no-brainier moves and declining them were no-brainier moves for both Ellsubry and Napoli, who rejected the $14.1 million dollar offer today.
Ellsbury is among the most coveted free agents on the open market and should cash in either with the Red Sox or a new team with relative ease. As for Napoli, the former catcher (and now converted first baseman) tried to secure a long term deal last offseason though was dealing with a hip injury which resulted in the Red Sox only offering him a one-year deal.
He obviously accepted, but now with reports suggesting he’s completely healthy, Napoli is looking for a long term commitment, be that from the Red Sox or another team thus the reasoning behind the decline.
Boston has said they’re more than interested in bringing both players back, though, they’ll likely have a better chance at retaining Napoli who won’t draw near the interest in comparison to Ellsbury.
That said – the Red Sox have the money to afford both, it’s simply a matter if they deem it financially reasonable.
Boston will receive a compensatory draft pick if either Ellsbury or Napoli depart in free agency.