Red Sox GM Ben Cherington has expressed interest in retaining all of the clubs free-agents this year and that includes shortstop Stephen Drew. It came as no surprise that Drew rejected the Sox one-year qualifying offer so he can test the open market, knowing he would be one of the top choices to fill a club’s need at shortstop. And now the suitors are lining up to try and secure his services.
According to Jon Heyman, Drew is drawing interest from the New York Yankees and the baseball insider writes that Hal Steinbrenner met with his agent during the GM meetings in Florida.
The Yankees recently signed Derek Jeter to a one-year deal worth $12 million and would presumably be the club’s starting shortstop, making the Drew inquiry somewhat confusing.
Heyman does add that Steinbrenner has spoken with Jeter about the possibility of the team signing another shortstop given the uncertainty of Jeter’s recovery from a severe ankle injury. His age also and durability have to be playing in to the Yankees plans of having a backup to the franchise icon.
It’s been rumored that the Yankees are interested in signing Brendan Ryan, another shortstop and according to Heyman “that won’t preclude a Drew signing.”
Scott Boras represents Drew and the shrewd agent is knowing for extracting the most for his clients, especially in a thin talent pool at short. It’s been said that Drew is seeking a multi-year deal that will see him with a healthy annual raise from the $9.5 million he made in Boston last season.
The 30-year old who flashed his leather glove on the grandest stage of them all, the World Series, had a slash line of .253/.333/.443/.777 with 13 homers and 67 RBI for the Red Sox during the regular season. He more than struggled at the plate throughout the postseason but given his superb defense, John Farrell had to leave him in the lineup.
It’s widely speculated that Boston will bow out of the Drew sweepstakes if and when his price tag escalates to the multi-year demands worth over $12 million per season. For the Yankees however, they have money to burn this off season and could have even more to play with once the Alex Rodriguez fiasco is settled.