Don’t expect to see Stephen Drew in Fort Myers for the Boston Red Sox’s first full-squad workout next week.
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said on MLB Network Radio on Sunday that he doesn’t expect to re-sign Drew before the beginning of spring training. The Red Sox’s position players are scheduled to report to spring training Feb. 18, with the first full-squad workout scheduled for Feb. 20.
“Stephen did an excellent job for us last year. He was a really solid player. He was a big part of our team. And so out of respect to him, we’ve kept a dialogue going,” Cherington said. “But at this point, we’re really focused on the guys we have on the roster. … I wouldn’t expect anything major to happen between now and when we report, at this point.”
Drew has been in limbo this offseason, with the Red Sox and New York Mets among the teams most frequently linked to the veteran shortstop. Drew is believed to be seeking a multiyear contract on the open market, but it’s been elusive thus far, largely because of the draft pick compensation attached to him by virtue of the Red Sox’s one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer at the beginning of free agency. ESPN.com reported last week that Drew’s agent, Scott Boras, is pushing for a multiyear contract that includes an opt-out clause after the first year.
Drew played well for the Red Sox in 2013, hitting .253 with 13 homers and 67 RBIs in 124 regular-season games. There’s a chance that Boston ultimately will re-sign the 30-year-old, although Cherington also appears willing to start the season with Xander Bogaerts at shortstop and Will Middlebrooks at third base.