Stephen Drew decided to test the open market this offseason, but despite his willingness to explore his options, he could very well be suiting up in a Red Sox uniform once again in 2014.
As he and agent Scott Boras continue to seek a multiyear contract from other clubs, the list of potential teams willing to ink Drew to a long-term deal dwindles with each day that passes. The free-agent shortstop hasn’t seen the offers roll in like he presumably expected them to, but Drew’s availability signifies that a return to Boston is likely.
Although the Yankees looked like a likely landing spot for the 30-year-old, the Bronx Bombers have since announced that they won’t be going after Drew, and instead, will stay put with Derek Jeter and Brendan Ryan at shortstop. The Mets have also emerged as a potential suitor, but their unwillingness to sign Drew past three years hints that a deal will not come to fruition.
The Red Sox have shown patience during Drew’s free agency, knowing that they already have Xander Bogearts and Will Middlebrooks on the left side of the infield, and they would also add a draft pick if Drew signs with another club. However, the return of the 30-year-old would provide depth to the Red Sox’ lineup, which proved to be invaluable during their 2013 World Series run.
Although Drew turned down the Red Sox’ one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer in the hopes of securing a more lucrative multiyear deal, Boston’s patience may pay off if they are able to re-sign one of the best available shortstops on the market to a short-term contract.