To this point in the winter, we haven’t heard a whole lot about where Stephen Drew could end up, at least in a legitimate sense. A lot of what we’ve heard surrounding the veteran shortstop has been more speculation than anything, and it remains to be seen whether or not he’s gotten anywhere near any serious negotiations with a Major League club. Nonetheless, there are suitors out there and it shouldn’t be a question that Drew will have a home before spring camps get underway later this month.
As far as the teams that have been rumored to be in on him, talk has primarily swirled around the New York Yankees and New York Mets, as well as a reunion with his 2013 club, the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees seem to go back and forth on their interest and willingness to pay, while the Mets appear to be out on him entirely at this point. In fact, all signs could end up pointing to him returning to Beantown for the 2014 season.
Re-signing Stephen Drew would make plenty of sense for the Red Sox, given what they hope to do with their roster in the upcoming season. Drew only appeared in 124 games for the Sox in 2013, but he experienced quite a nice little rebound year after a disaster of a season with the Oakland Athletics. He posted a slash line of .253/.333/.443/.777 and a very good wRC+ of 109. He provided strong defense at short, with a 6.7 UZR per 150 innings.
At first glance, it would seem that there’s no need for Stephen Drew on this current Red Sox roster. They have Xander Bogaerts ready to slot in at short full time and Will Middlebrooks ready to return to big league action at the hot corner. However, word is that the Red Sox prefer Bogaerts at third and they’ve been shopping Middlebrooks around a bit this winter, and there’s almost certainly going to be interest in a 25-year-old change-of-scenery candidate.
The Red Sox extended a qualifying offer to Stephen Drew earlier this offseason, which is part of the reason he remains unsigned. While signing him from the Red Sox perspective makes plenty of sense, returning to Boston may be in the best interest of Drew, as it represents the best chance for him to get the contract he’s seeking. It may not be “inevitable”, but Stephen Drew returning to the Boston Red Sox seems as likely a scenario as any at this point.