Stephen did a great job for us last year. We respect him, and because of that, we’ve kept a dialogue going. But there’s nothing to be gleaned from that other than we’ve kept a dialogue going. We’re comfortable where we are. I don’t ever want to rule anything out because it doesn’t make any sense to do that, but we like the roster we have now.
That’s how Red Sox GM Ben Cherington described the current offseason plan and negotiations with Stephen Drew last night at a charity auction at Fenway Park. Citing the development of shortstop Xander Bogaerts and third baseman Will Middlebrooks, the addition of Drew would cause a logjam in the left side of the infield. While Drew had a solid season for the Red Sox last season and would no doubt be a valuable addition, the Red Sox brass is absolutely making the right call here.
Last season, Stephen Drew ranked 8th among Major League shortstops in Wins Above Replacement, or WAR, with a mark of 3.4 and was third among shortstops with at least 500 plate appearances with a 109 wRC+, a metric which compares a player to the league average in overall offensive talent, with Drew’s 109 signifying that he was 9% above the league average. Drew slashed .253/.333/.443 with 13 home runs and 67 RBIs and played excellent defense at one of the most important defensive positions.
Drew’s rebound season in 2013 easily makes him a top ten shortstop in all of baseball, and a valuable asset. However, there’s just no place for him in Boston. If the Red Sox were to re-sign Drew, then they would likely have to trade or demote Will Middlebrooks, who is due for a rebound season of his own in 2014 and is still just 25 years old.
Another team, perhaps the New York Mets, will likely benefit significantly from signing Drew. However, Ben Cherington and Co. are making the right call, as usual, when it comes to the soon-to-be 31 year old. The development and Major League success of Bogaerts and Middlebrooks is to important to be compromised for a small upgrade.