Red Sox Should Pursue Trade Of Stephen Drew


The Red Sox have had a uniquely successful season in that they have gotten production out of nearly every spot on their 25-man roster. One exception so far has been Stephen Drew, who is hitting just .234/.332/.413 (with admittedly great defense). Normally, the Red Sox would seek an upgrade; however, they already have one in their organization as Jose Iglesias has hit .443/.494/.571 in 70 at bats. Iglesias has been playing third base lately, but with Will Middlebrooks set to return, the Red Sox should look into trading Stephen Drew to another team in need of any production at the shortstop position. Here are a few options of teams that need production and may have something to offer the Red Sox.

Cincinnati Reds

Once a top prospect, Zack Cozart hasn’t been very effective for the Reds in recent years; he holds just a .239/.266/.372 slash line this year, which is even worse than his career .248/.283/.396 line. The Reds may be pursuing an upgrade over Cozart, and Drew presents an upgrade in pretty much every offensive statistic as well as a slight upgrade in defense. With Drew on a relatively inexpensive one-year contract, the Reds might bite to help their team make the playoff push again, the question is what the Red Sox could receive in return.

Apr 29, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher

Jonathan Broxton

(51) throws to a St. Louis Cardinals batter during the eighth inning at Busch Stadium. Cincinnati defeated St. Louis 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Drew isn’t a good enough player or large enough upgrade to net a huge return for the Red Sox. However, the Reds may be willing to give up a bullpen arm a la JJ Hoover (3.46 ERA, 26:11 K:BB, 26.0 IP), Sam LeCure (1.78 ERA, 27:10 K:BB, 25.1 IP), or Jonathan Broxton (4.26 ERA, 18:8 K:BB, 25.1 IP). The Red Sox could also shoot for a mid-level prospect in the Reds’ system, somebody like second baseman Ryan Wright (.259/.308/.382 in High-A), outfielder Jesse Winker (.307/.412/.515 in Single-A), or first baseman Neftali Soto (.271/.312/.413 in Triple-A).

Kansas City Royals

Although he has had his moments in Kansas City, Alcides Escobar has just not been very good in 2013. He has hit to a downright bad slash line of .239/.265/.317 and while he has speed and isn’t terrible defensively, Drew would mark a large upgrade. The Royals made a commitment to contending with a big offseason and Escobar just isn’t cutting it as a starting shortstop on a contending team.

Apr 4, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher

Kelvin Herrera

(40) pitches against the Chicago White Sox in the eighth inning at U.S. Cellular Field. The Kansas City Royals defeated the Chicago White Sox 5-1. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The same rule applies to the Royals as the Reds, as the Red Sox wouldn’t net a huge return. However, the Royals do have a few young bullpen arms that the Red Sox could grab such as left-hander Tim Collins (2.66 ERA, 19:8 K:BB, 20.1 IP), Aaron Crow (4.32 ERA, 10:7 K:BB, 16.2 IP), or Kelvin Herrera (4.43 ERA, 26:8 K:BB, 22.1 IP). The Royals may also be willing to part with such mid-level prospects as outfielder Jorge Bonifacio (.325/.404/.452 in High-A), catcher Cam Gallagher (.268/.300/.375 in Single-A), or left-handed pitcher Donnie Joseph (5.95 ERA, 31:13 K:BB, 19.2 IP).

St. Louis Cardinals

Pete Kozma did a great job filling in for Rafael Furcal down the stretch in 2012. However, he hasn’t been nearly as good a starting option in 2013 as he is batting just .255/.308/.319, and with the Cardinals one of the best teams in baseball, a better shortstop may put them over the edge. Drew could be that man, as the Cardinals have been rumored to show interest in the 30-year old as a stopgap option and this could be their chance at him.

Apr 28, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher

Fernando Salas

(59) throws to a Pittsburgh Pirates batter at Busch Stadium. Pittsburgh defeated St. Louis 9-0. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals have a number of excellent young pitching prospects, but the Red Sox may have to opt for someone of lesser quality than Trevor Rosenthal or Carlos Martinez, unless the Cardinals are extremely desperate. However, perhaps a relief pitcher such as Seth Maness (3.24 ERA, 10:4 K:BB, 16.2 IP), Joe Kelly (5.55 ERA, 21:8 K:BB, 24.1 IP), or Fernando Salas (3.86 ERA, 12:3 K:BB, 16.1 IP) could find themselves in Boston. The Cardinals also have an excess of fantastic prospects, so the Red Sox could wind up with somebody like relief prospect Michael Blazek (0.76 ERA, 31:10 K:BB, 23.2 IP between Double-A and Triple-A), outfielder Charlie Tilson (.294/.337/.393 in Single-A), or James Ramsey (.286/.417/.410 between High-A and Double-A).