Stephen Drew‘s agent, Scott Boras, isn’t buying the idea that there’s no market for the veteran shortstop.
Drew, who rejected a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Boston Red Sox at the beginning of free agency to pursue a multiyear contract on the open market, is still without a home. But Boras insists there’s plenty of interest in his client, and the Red Sox are among the teams keeping in touch.
“There are five or six teams who I have actively talked to concerning Stephen,” Boras recently told The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. “[Red Sox general manager] Ben [Cherington] and I have continued our dialogue and will continue to talk.”
Drew is coming off a solid season with the Red Sox in which he hit .253 with 13 homers and 67 RBIs in 124 games while playing superb defense. The 30-year-old struggled in the postseason, hitting just .111 (6-for-54) with 19 strikeouts, but his usual combination of offense and defense arguably makes him one of the top 10 shortstops in Major League Baseball. The problem is that most teams appear to have their shortstop situation figured out for 2014.
The Red Sox have remained open to the idea of Drew returning, although Cherington said last week that he hadn’t spoken with Boras about the shortstop since just before the holidays. It seems that Boston does not want to make any more than a one-year commitment to Drew.
Boras has a history of landing massive contracts for his clients, and this offseason has been no different. Jacoby Ellsbury (seven years, $153 million with the Yankees) and Shin-Soo Choo (seven years, $130 million with the Rangers) both landed big deals in free agency. Perhaps Drew will be the next Boras client to sign a lucrative contract, though the agent isn’t rushing things at this point.
“I tell my clients all the time that free agency is a long process,” Boras told Cafardo. “It just doesn’t end at Christmas. It’s a January, February, and even a March process. Teams assess their needs, explore their trade options, and when things finally settle, there’s still a free-agent market for them to turn to. Ask the Red Sox what Stephen meant to their team.”
If Drew signs elsewhere, the Red Sox likely will begin the 2014 season with Xander Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks at shortstop and third base, respectively.