NEW YORK – The World Series champion Boston Red Sox made $14.1 million qualifying offers Monday to three free agents — outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, catcher-first baseman Mike Napoli and shortstop Stephen Drew.
Thirteen big-league free agents received such offers, up from nine last year.
The New York Yankees also extended offers to a trio of players — second baseman Robinson Cano, outfielder Curtis Granderson and pitcher Hiroki Kuroda.
Players accepting the offers are signed for next season. If a player signs elsewhere, his former team gets an extra draft pick at the end of the first round in June as compensation.
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Others receiving the offers were Atlanta catcher Brian McCann, Cincinnati outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, Cleveland pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, Kansas City pitcher Ervin Santana, St. Louis outfielder Carlos Beltran, Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz and Mariners designated hitter Kendrys Morales.
Free agents can start talking contract with all teams. The amount of the qualifying offer, which increased by $800,000 this year, is set by baseball’s collective-bargaining agreement as the average of the 125 highest contracts.
Among the nine who received offers last year, the only ones to stay with their teams were Boston designated hitter David Ortiz, Kuroda and Washington first baseman Adam LaRoche.
• San Francisco declined a $6.5 million option on right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, 36, who gets a $300,000 buyout.
• Alex Rodriguez tested positive for a banned stimulant in 2006, The New York Times reported, an accusation denied by a representative of the legal team for the Yankees’ third baseman.
The newspaper cited two unidentified people involved with baseball’s drug-testing program. Rodriguez’s legal team accused MLB of leaking the allegation.
• Pitchers Francisco Liriano of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Mariano Rivera of the Yankees earned Comeback Player of the Year Awards in voting by MLB.com beat reporters.
• Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera was voted player of the year by fellow major-leaguers for the second consecutive season. Third baseman Cabrera also was voted outstanding AL player. Pittsburgh outfielder Andrew McCutchen was voted NL outstanding player.