Stephen Drew is one of the most notable players remaining on the free-agent market as spring training approaches.
The veteran shortstop spent the 2013 season with the Boston Red Sox and provided a spark in the lineup and a good glove in the field, but he rejected the team’s $14.1 million qualifying offer to hit the open market at the start of the offseason.
Drew hasn’t found the kind of contract he wanted in free agency, which makes it possible he could return to the Red Sox. Boston reportedly offered Drew a two-year deal at some point in the offseason, per ESPN.
He batted .253 with 13 home runs, 67 RBIs and a .333 on-base percentage as the Red Sox’ starting shortstop last season. Drew struggled through Boston’s run to a World Series title, but he did go 2-for-4 with a home run in the clinching game of the Fall Classic against the St. Louis Cardinals.
If Drew does return to the Red Sox in 2014, it’s unclear what role he would play. Promising prospect Xander Bogaerts is likely going to get a lot more at-bats this year following an impressive 2013 campaign that included some clutch moments in the postseason. Bogaerts could shift to third base if Drew returned, but that scenario would take at-bats away from talented infielder Will Middlebrooks.
It’s an interesting decision for Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington to ponder over the next few weeks.