|Stephen Drew’s market still mystery at winter meetings||12.11.13 at 8:29 am ET|
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Maybe Wednesday will be the day.
Ben Cherington is planning on meeting with Scott Boras, who also is slated to conduct his annual winter meetings media gathering somewhere in the Dolphin Resort and Hotel. Perhaps at the end of the pair of get-togethers we will have a better idea as to where Stephen Drew‘s market is coming from.
Right now, however, it remains a mystery.
It’s difficult to find any executives from any organizations within the hallways of these winter meetings who can offer insight as to which team — other than the Red Sox — might be willing to jump in and make a substantial offer to Drew.
The Red Sox, of course, remain in the catbird seat in regards to the Drew market, not having to surrender a draft pick if they were to sign the shortstop. It is why one executive from a team thought to have interest in Drew said he firmly believes the 31-year-old will end up back with the Sox.
Because any team other than the Red Sox will have to give up a pick for Drew, it makes the scenario for the shortstop to lock in on significant contract hard to fathom. The consensus is that in order for any team to be able to justify giving up a draft pick, the deal for the player would have to be for three years, and allocating a three-year deal along with the ultra-valuable draft pick for Drew (as solid a player as he is) is still a reach.
The Mets, for instance, don’t appear to be willing to take that leap of faith with Drew, especially now that they’ve already surrendered their second draft pick in the signing of Curtis Granderson (New York’s first-round pick is protected).
The Red Sox clearly like Drew, and seemingly would welcome him back. But a return would necessitate some payroll prioritizing. For instance, if they were able to acquire Rajai Davis (a player the Sox had interest in), that financial commitment have put more of a punctuation on bringing their starting shortstop back (barring a trade of one of their pitchers).
Now, while most everybody in at the meetings can’t offer a scenario where Drew lands anywhere but with the Red Sox, they are also usually quick to point out Boras’ propensity to find a market in such seemingly dire situations. It might just end up being a case of how long he and Drew are willing to wait.
When the agent got caught in qualifying offer hell last offseason with Kyle Lohse — a 34-year-old pitcher with a draft pick attached to him — it took until March 25 to get a three-year, $33 million deal done. The difference is, however, that the need for Drew’s position is much more limited than that of a starting pitcher, with no guarantee that a team will suddenly need a shortstop enough to give up a draft pick.
This could very well end up like the kind of scenario experienced by former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek (a Boras guy), who turned down an arbitration offer of what would have ended up to be around $11 million only to end up with a one-year, $5 million deal.
But, then again …
Maybe Wednesday will be the day we uncover Drew’s market.
|Newest Met Curtis Granderson explains Red Sox’ interest in him||12.10.13 at 2:19 pm ET|
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Curtis Granderson is a New York Met. That was made perfectly clear Tuesday when the outfielder was introduced to the media at the Dolphin Hotel and Resort.
But, according to Granderson, there was at least a chance he could have become a member of the Red Sox.
“We did, early on, right after they ended up winning the World Series ironically. You’d think they’d celebrate for a little bit,” said Granderson when asked if the Red Sox had expressed interest in the 32-year-old. “There were some initial talks right there. Then as soon as Ellsbury ended up signing, there were more. They decided they wanted to go with Jackie Bradley, who’s obviously a great individual and is going to go out there and do some great things for them. They had some other moves they wanted to go ahead and take care of first.”
Granderson ended up signing a four-year, $60 million deal with New York.
Later Tuesday, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington clarified his team’s interest in the outfielder.
“We contact a lot of free agents. There are probably we don’t contact than we do contact,” he said. “Because it’s important at the very least you’re exchanging information, it gives you a sense of how the market is shaping. We liked him. We like him as a player. But I wouldn’t say we were ever that close on it.”
|Ben Cherington on dealing starters: ‘We’re very comfortable not doing anything’||12.09.13 at 7:02 pm ET|
ORLANDO — Even with six starters — Jon Lester, Jake Peavy, Ryan Dempster, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront and John Lackey — on their roster, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said he is no rush to trade any of them.
“We’re very comfortable not doing anything,” Cherington said when asked about the surplus. “We’re very comfortable just holding everyone. We all know that starting pitching, a supposed surplus has a way of working itself out usually. We’re very comfortable not doing anything. If the movement with free agents or trades or whatever creates motivation on some teams’ part, or when that leads to something that makes sense for us, then we’ll certainly listen and consider it.”
Cherington noted that some of the teams which initially inquired about some of the Sox starters have filled their holes with free agents. Yet, there is still interest in the Red Sox hurlers, according to the GM.
“I wouldn’t say it’s changed much since the beginning of the offseason,” he said. “That doesn’t mean we’re close to doing anything; we’re not. We’re still hearing from teams.”
|Ben Cherington still can’t ‘handicap’ chances of Stephen Drew returning||12.09.13 at 6:50 pm ET|
ORLANDO — Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington wouldn’t “handicap” the chances of Stephen Drew returning to the team at the winter meetings Monday, but he did note that whatever solution the Sox get to fill out the left side of their infield will have to have the capability to play shortstop.
“We need two guys on the team that can play short no matter what the names are,” Cherington said. “The roster needs two guys that can play short. So obviously, [Xander] Bogaerts has a chance to be a part of the team and he can play short. One way or another we have to add to that. Brock Holt is a candidate for that and he’s done a good job for us. Obviously someone we still think highly of. But we may look to add somebody on that side of the field and more than likely that someone would have the ability to play short, at least in some role.”
As was reported by WEEI.com earlier Monday, the Red Sox are waiting out to see what kind of market Drew might get before looping back in with the shortstop.
“He’s someone that – we obviously like him,” Cherington said of Drew. “He’s a good player and did a really good job for us. If there’s a way to make it work, we’ll see if we can do that, but I can’t handicap it right now.”
|Sources: ‘Nothing to’ reports of Red Sox interest in Matt Kemp||12.09.13 at 6:29 pm ET|
ORLANDO — According to major league sources, there is “nothing to” the reported Red Sox interest in Matt Kemp. Two sources classified the contact regarding Kemp as “barely” touching base.
The Dodgers are believed to be shopping the 29-year-old, who has been battling ankle and shoulder injuries.
Check back from more from the winter meetings …
|John Farrell at winter meetings: No ‘physical discomfort’ for Clay Buchholz||12.09.13 at 5:19 pm ET|
ORLANDO — According to John Farrell, the concerns over Clay Buchholz’ health has subsided.
Speaking during his allotted time with the media at the winter meetings Monday afternoon, the Red Sox manager said that Buchholz has put his physical issues (shoulder, neck, lat) in the past and should undergo a typical offseason.
“Based on the most recent report, very comfortable,” Farrell said when asked about Buchholz’s progress. “No residual feeling of any kind of physical discomfort. He’s initiated his normal off‑season strengthening program. So all of that has calmed down from last year. So his durability and just innings capability is a huge — will be a huge benefit further going forward.”
Some other noteworthy items from Farrell’s media briefing:
|John Farrell envisions Shane Victorino, Daniel Nava as Red Sox leadoff men||12.09.13 at 4:52 pm ET|
ORLANDO — Speaking during his allotted 30-minute media availability at the winter meetings, Red Sox manager John Farrell suggested his team’s leadoff hitters for the coming season will be a combination of Daniel Nava and Shane Victorino.
Victorino, who finished 2013 with a .351 on-base percentage, hit leadoff eight times, while Nava (.385 OBP) manned the lineup’s top spot in nine games (8 starts).
“I think the most important thing is we’re not going to replace some 50‑something stolen bases by Jacoby [Ellsbury],” Farrell said. “The biggest thing would be who is our best on-base percentage guys to keep them or keep that individual in front of [Dustin Pedroia], and David [Ortiz], and [Mike Napoli], those are the two guys that quickly come to mind right now. ”
Farrell went on to explain who he liked the dynamic of Pedroia hitting in the two-hole, with Ortiz sliding up to third, an order the Red Sox implemented at the end of their postseason run.
The Sox manager believed that Victorino would return to switch-hitting in 2014, after having hit almost exclusively right-handed after suffering a hamstring injury.
“Everything says he will,” said Farrell when asked if Victorino would hit lefty in ’14. “That was a conversation as the year unfolded and finished out. But Shane has a way of coming up with some things that kind of keep you smiling.”
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