As the middle of November is upon is, the hot stove around Major League baseball is in full roar which includes plenty of rumors surrounding the Boston Red Sox and their six free-agents.
Two of the more prominent names that played in Boston last year that are now on the open market include center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and shortstop Stephen Drew. Both are seeking multi-year deals and while there is a possibility both are back in Red Sox silks next season, there is plenty of interest from other clubs as well, as mentioned by Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
First on Ellsbury. Heyman notes that the Texas Rangers are focusing their sights on Shin-Soo Choo and have apparently “ruled out” Ellsbury. Heyman writes that the Rangers have full confidence in Leonys Martin and his ability to handle more playing time in the outfield and as such don’t require Ellsbury’s services.
Of course this could change is the Rangers aren’t able to land Choo and with a number of other clubs interested, anything can happen at this point. Nelson Cruz is a free-agent and if he departs, the Rangers will need to plug the hole he leaves behind.
On the Stephen Drew sweepstakes, the New York Yankees are allegedly still in on the shortstop, even after coming to terms with Brendan Ryan earlier today, courtesy of Heyman.
The Bronx Bombers have question marks surrounding the aging Derek Jeter who recovers from an ankle injury and signing Ryan helps shore up the position. By adding Drew to the infield could serve as additional insurance providing the Alex Rodriguez hearing doesn’t go his way and New York has to fill the hole at third base.
Drew is tied to a draft pick and is said to be seeking a multi-year deal for four to five years, something the Red Sox may be hesitant to offer.
Considered to be the one of the top shortstops available this winter, Drew hit .253 with 13 homers and drove in a career best 67 RBIs this past season for the Red Sox.