So, it appears like teams have finally caught on.

Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann

So, it appears like teams have finally caught on.

All the qualifying offers are in to Major League Baseball free agents, with a record-setting 25 players receiving the opportunity to haul in a one-year, $15.8 million from their previous teams.

It is a huge jump from what had transpired in the three previous offseasons the qualifying offer system has been in place. The first year saw nine offers, with 13 coming the next year and 12 being extended last offseason.

(As a reminder of how it works, if the player doesn’t accept the QO and he signs with another team, the team that inks the free agent has to surrender its highest draft pick, unless that pick falls in the top 10. The club giving up the player receives a sandwich round selection once he signs elsewhere.)

Why so many?

One of the main reasons is that because it has become evident the agents have little interest in advising their clients to take a one-year deal after positioning them for free agency for months leading up to this moment. And since a decision has to be made in one week, there’s no proof what might await in the free agent market, leaving the players often believing there is a multi-year deal out there somewhere.

To date, none of the players handed qualifying offers had accepted the one-year deal, with the gamble coming back to bite players like Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales, both of whom signed a few months into the regular season. The team signing Drew, the Red Sox, didn’t have to surrender a pick because they were his previous club, and the Twins were clear of giving up a pick when inking Morales because the agreement was after the June amateur draft.

Now we will find out if such scenarios have scared off some of these 25 players from exploring the market beyond next week.

As for what this all means for the Red Sox, there are a few players in the group that they were eyeing to see if a QO would be heading their way. The potential of giving up the draft pick is of considerable interest to Dave Dombrowski and Co. this time around considering they sit at No. 12, the second highest non-protected pick.

If surrendered, it would be the highest spot ever given up to sign a player since the QO system started, with the Padres currently holding that honor after giving up No. 13 for James Shields last offseason.

“It’s a case-by-case basis,” Dombrowski said when appearing on WEEI’s Hot Stove Show Tuesday night. “Ideally, you never want to give up your No. 1 draft choice if you don’t have to. But I have been in circumstances where the player that you signed merits you being in a position where you feel as an organization that you’re willing to do that.

“You don’t want to do it. There are some circumstances you’d shy away from, where you say, you know what, I don’€™t want to give that draft choice up for this kind of player. You’re thinking your draft pick is going to be successful, so you have to weigh in to where you think the player you would be drafting there, the type of player down the road he projects to be. It’s something when you talk about development time, that you’re open minded to trading that quality of player you might get with that choice, or not.

“I think it’s a case-by-case basis and you analyze that based upon the player you have a chance to sign.”

The Red Sox would be most likely willing to surrender the pick in order to sign the likes of pitcher Zack Greinke, or, if they choose to go down this road (which I don’t think they will), first baseman Chris Davis. Starter Jordan Zimmermann might also fall into this group.

Starting pitchers Wei-Yen Chen, Hisashi Iwakuma, Yovani Gallardo, Brett Anderson or Marco Estrada? The draft pick conundrum might offer some hesitation.

It should be noted that some other significant potential Red Sox free agent targets will be free and clear from being saddled with QO compensation. David Price, Johnny Cueto and Scott Kazmir all couldn’t be offered the one-year deal because a player has to be with their team for the entire season leading up to free agency in order to be eligible. Price, Cueto and Kazmir were all dealt in the middle of the 2015 season.

Here is a list of the players receiving the qualifying offers:

Brett Anderson, SP (Dodgers)
Wei-Yin Chen, SP (Orioles)
Chris Davis, 1B (Orioles)
Ian Desmond, SS (Nationals)
Marco Estrada, SP (Blue Jays)
Dexter Fowler, OF (Cubs)
Yovani Gallardo, SP (Rangers)
Alex Gordon, OF (Royals)
Zack Greinke, SP (Dodgers)
Jason Heyward, OF (Cardinals)
Hisashi Iwakuma, SP (Mariners)
Howie Kendrick, 2B (Dodgers)
Ian Kennedy, SP (Padres)
John Lackey, SP (Cardinals)
Daniel Murphy, 2B/3B (Mets)
Colby Rasmus, OF (Astros)
Jeff Samardzija, SP (White Sox)
Justin Upton, OF (Padres)
Matt Wieters, C (Orioles)
Jordan Zimmermann, SP (Nationals)

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

The Red Sox announced a series of moves Friday, including outrighting pitchers Alexi Ogando and Jean Machi, who elected to become free agents.

Alexi Ogando

Alexi Ogando

The Red Sox announced a series of moves Friday, including outrighting pitchers Alexi Ogando and Jean Machi, who elected to become free agents.

Ogando, 32, signed as a free agent last offseason after five years with the Rangers. The right-hander saw action in 64 games this season, going 3-1 with a 3.99 ERA.

Machi, 30, was picked up off waivers from the Giants on July 28 and appeared in 26 games with the Sox, posting a 5.09 ERA.

Outfielder/first baseman Allen Craig was outrighted as well, but he accepted an assignment to Triple-A Pawtucket. The 31-year-old spent most of the season in Pawtucket, trying to regain the stroke that helped him succeed during his previous stint with the Cardinals. In 36 games in the majors this season, Craig batted .152/.239/.203.

Catcher Sandy Leon signed a one-year major league contract for 2016 and also was outrighted and assigned to Pawtucket. The 26-year-old Venezuelan, acquired from the Nationals just before the start of the season to fill a void, hit .184/.238/.202 in 41 games.

Pitcher Ryan Cook was claimed off waivers by the Cubs. The 28-year-old was traded from the Athletics to the Sox at the trade deadline for a player to be named or cash, and he made five relief appearances, allowing 13 earned runs in 4 1/3 innings.

The Sox also reinstated five players from the 60-day disabled list: pitchers Clay Buchholz (right elbow strain), Koji Uehara (right wrist nondisplaced distal radius fracture), Anthony Varvaro (right elbow surgery) and Brandon Workman (Tommy John surgery), and catcher Christian Vazquez (Tommy John surgery).

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
Charles Steinberg

Charles Steinberg

On a day when the Red Sox announced a series of moves as part of their front office restructuring, Dr. Charles Steinberg was named president of the Pawtucket Red Sox on Thursday.

Steinberg has long worked with outgoing Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino, who became chairman of the PawSox last winter.

The PawSox are attempting to relocate, although a plan to move to Providence fell through in September.

“Working at Fenway Park, we have long admired the fans of Rhode Island,” Steinberg said. “The opportunity to help enhance a warm, welcoming, positive experience for families, and especially children, is very attractive. The opportunity to help enhance the PawSox’ community efforts is equally enticing.

“We know we have a staff of loyal, dedicated, knowledgeable people who have given their hearts and souls to the PawSox for years. We look forward to working with them, learning from them and building upon our shared experience.”

Mike Tamburro, who has served as PawSox president for two decades, will remain with the organization as vice chairman.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

Free agent outfielder Ryan Raburn seems like a good fit for what the Red Sox are looking for. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)Who is getting the midnight call this time?

It's not always who you might think.

A lot can change over the course of an offseason. Nobody knows that more than Billy Beane.

Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray

A lot can change over the course of an offseason. Nobody knows that more than Billy Beane.

The A’s chief decision-maker was the one who reversed course last year after stiff-arming inquiries on Josh Donaldson, finally giving the OK to Toronto for a deal involving the probable American League MVP.

This year, the Red Sox are probably hoping Beane has a similar change of mind.

Talking to Peter Gammons, Beane said that he didn’t believe that the starting pitcher so many believed would be a target for the Red Sox, Sonny Gray, would be in the conversation when it came to making a deal in the coming months.

As Beane explained to Gammons for, “trading Gray is not something I think we could do. We have to put a representative product on the field, and continue to dream we get a ballpark. We should have good pitching, with Gray, Jarrod Parker, Kendall Graveman, Jesse Hahn, Chris Bassitt, maybe Sean Manaea during the season. I just cannot see us trading Gray or (Josh) Reddick.”

Sources have said that the Red Sox have at least previously asked about Gray, a 26-year-old who finished seventh among all pitchers in Wins Above Replacement this past season. In his second full big league season, the righty went 14-7 with a 2.73 ERA while pitching 208 innings. Over the past two seasons, Gray has totaled the exact same ERA (2.88) as David Price.

It isn’t surprising that Beane wants to hold on to Gray, who has just 2 1/2 years service time. (He was taken one spot ahead of where the Red Sox selected Matt Barnes with the 19th overall pick in the 2011 draft.)

The A’s head of baseball operations clearly wants some sort of players to serve as a foundation while he tries to rebuild a team that went just an American League-worst 68-94. For now, he’s identifying Gray as one of those guys.

“Good question, but I think so,” said Beane when asked if he thought Gray would be affordable by the time the A’s young players are ready thrive. “I look at the way the market is going and realize the teams with the money are going to spend it on free agent pitching rather than trading three or four top prospects. Good young players are worth too much today.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Yawkey Way honors a man who fought the integration of baseball.</p>
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The Red Sox recently took one step towards addressing the need for power in their bullpen by informing right-hander Matt Barnes that he’ll be shifting to relief full-time.