Why Stephen Drew is still unemployed, and why he'll most likely end up back on the Sox
With really no other viable shortstop options, it’s a little surprising to see that Stephen Drew is still unemployed. Defensively, he was instrumental in the Red Sox’s World Series victory. And with what is arguably one of the most difficult positions to play, if not the most, defense is everything.
So why hasn’t Drew been scooped up?
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For one thing, he comes with a high price tag, and that’s not necessarily just contract-wise. Agent Scott Boras is definitely trying to get top dollar for Drew with him being the best shortstop option on the market. With Drew’s lackluster hitting statistics, whatever Boras is asking is probably already a little more than most teams would be willing to pay. But signing Drew would also mean losing a draft pick for those teams, as the Red Sox gave him a qualifying offer.
According to CBSSports’s Jon Heyman, the Red Sox are still seem to be the most likely candidates to sign Drew. They do have competition, but it’s dwindling. Heyman named the Mets, Yankees, and Blue Jays as the top competitors. However, multiple sources have been reporting that both the Yankees and Mets are no longer very interested. The Yankees are still putting their faith in the aging Derek Jeter, and the Mets have too much to lose, having already given up a draft pick by acquiring Curtis Granderson.
It’s unclear just how interested the Blue Jays are, but they have Jose Reyes, so it’s highly unlikely that Drew would be the starting shortstop. That would most likely mean that would they not want to pay top dollar. Drew has said that he’d be willing to play another position to try to spark more interest in his services, but depending on how desperate a team’s need is, they may not be willing to do that.
Heyman also said that the Red Sox would be willing to offer Drew a multiyear deal with an opt-out clause, which is a very enticing deal. Having Drew at shortstop and Xander Bogaerts at third is their best option, so they’re willing to give him what he wants to an extent. Until then, both Drew and the Red Sox will both be waiting patiently until they get what they’re looking for. But chances are, they’ll end up together once again.