Updating the Red Sox’ interest in free agent Stephen Drew
|02.14.14 at 1:33 pm ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — One day from the official reporting date for Red Sox pitchers and catchers, shortstop Stephen Drew remains a free agent. The Sox, according to a major league source, remain open to re-signing their everyday shortstop from the 2013 championship run. However, the same source indicated that the Sox’ interest is likely limited to either a one-year deal or a one-year deal with a player option — a contract structure that might be similar to the one-year, $9 million deal with a $5 million player option that Adrian Beltre signed for the 2010 season, which allowed the contract to be calculated as a two-year, $14 million pact (with a $7 million average annual salary) for luxury tax purposes.
While Xander Bogaerts is working out exclusively at shortstop right now, the Sox would be comfortable making the adjustment to have their top prospect prepare for the season at both short and third if Drew were to re-sign. The idea of adding depth to the left side of the infield — an area of potential vulnerability if Bogaerts either struggles or gets injured, given that the only other shortstop on the 40-man roster is Jonathan Herrera — remains intriguing.
That said, the likelihood is that if Drew wants a multi-year deal, he would have to get it elsewhere, with the Mets and Yankees considered the most likely teams to offer a deal of more than one year. The Yankees, in particular, seem like a strong fit for Drew, as New York faces questions regarding both health and production at shortstop (Derek Jeter, Brendan Ryan), third base (Kelly Johnson) and second base (Brian Roberts). Drew would represent a strong everyday shortstop option for New York at times when Jeter is unavailable due to injury, and given the icon’s intention to retire after the 2014 season, Drew would represent an obvious solution at the position beyond the coming year — a valuable asset given the expectation that the top potential free agent option, Hanley Ramirez, is expected to sign an extension with the Dodgers, with J.J. Hardy representing the other viable starting shortstop who will be a free agent following the 2014 campaign.
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