In an interview on MLB Network Radio’s “Front Office” program Sunday morning, Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said he did not expect a deal with Stephen Drew to be completed before the team reports to Spring Training this week.
“Out of respect to him, we’ve kept the dialogue going, but … I wouldn’t expect anything to happen between now and the time we report, at this point.”
Drew has been linked primarily to two teams this offseason – the Red Sox and the New York Mets. The Mets are reportedly ready to move forward with Ruben Tejada as their starting shortstop, despite many in the industry saying he is a clear downgrade from someone like Drew.
It was recently reported that Drew wanted an opt-out clause after the first year of a contract, something that made many around the league scratch their heads.
ESPN.com’s Adam Rubin suggests that a multiyear contract with an opt-out clause after Year 1 wouldn’t fly with the New York Mets, who currently are determining how much Drew is worth over incumbent shortstop Ruben Tejada. The Mets, however, would consider a two- or possibly even three-year deal for Drew, according to Rubin.
Last season, Drew, who turns 31 in March, slashed .253/.333/.443 in 124 games with the Red Sox, playing a very solid shortstop. Boston appears set to begin 2014 with prospect Xander Bogaerts at short after he put together an impressive postseason run after replacing Drew in the starting lineup.