A report by John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press states that free agent shortstop Stephen Drew “is willing to sign a one-year contract with the Tigers”. Lowe reports this comes from a source familiar with Drew.
Much talk has emerged since the reports regarding Jose Iglesias and the status of his shins. Some of that talk has centered around Drew, but with the deal the Tigers made today with the Los Angeles Angels in acquiring Austin Romine, would Drew still be on the club’s radar?
It’s still a possibility even with today’s trade. Why would Drew still be considered? Here’s Lowe:
By taking a one-year deal, Drew wouldn’t impede Jose Iglesias’ future with the Tigers. Drew could then leave the Tigers as a free agent after this season. Iglesias, who will miss at least most of this season, is expected to be back for the start of next season.
As you would expect, if Drew does consider a one-year deal, it would have to be extremely close to the $14.1MM qualifying offer he rejected from the Boston Red Sox. About a week ago, I stated a Drew signing could be in the works because of the working relationship between Drew’s agent, Scott Boaras, has with Tigers owner Mike Ilitch.
There is a catch to all of this, but it’s not a big one. Lowe also reports that Drew wouldn’t want to sign a deal after Opening Day. In waiting until then, Drew would become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2014 season and there would be no draft pick attachment to his free agency. That would mean Drew and Boras could freely negotiate with any team without a lost draft pick being held over their head. That seems to have been the case this off-season.
And you can’t blame Drew for taking that “spin” out of any negotiations he will have during the upcoming winter.
(Call out to MLB Trade Rumors)