The Red Sox will extend qualifying offers of $14.1m  to center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, shortstop Stephen Drew and first baseman Mike Napoli, reports ESPN.

The one year offers means the World Series champions retain negotiating rights for each of the players.

Amazingly, it seems such offers have been made just hours before the deadline, meaning the three stars were on the verge of being free to negotiate with other teams.

They now have the choice to accept to offer and play on a one year deal in to 2014 or to try their luck on the free agency market. But any team who does get their hands on the player will have to award the Red Sox with a pick in the first-year draft as compensation.

Ellsbury, ESPN reports, is the most likely of the trio to move as a free agent thus bagging the organisation a draft pick.

Both Napoli and Drew played the season just gone by with one year deals but Drew is unlikely to find a better option elsewhere whilst Napoli is awaiting results of a niggling hip injury.

That injury caused a three-year deal with the Red Sox to cancel itself and it is believed that a good set of results will see the franchise tying Napoli down for considerably longer.

John McDonald and Joel Hanrahan did not receive qualifying offers.

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Boston Red Sox