Stephen Drew might be willing to back off his previous requests in order to join the Detroit Tigers.
Drew is willing to accept a one-year contract with the Tigers, a person familiar with the shortstop’s thinking told John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press on Friday. Drew, who remains a free agent, 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.
The Tigers acquired infielder Andrew Romine from the Los Angeles Angels on Friday, seemingly to help replace shortstop Jose Iglesias, who likely will miss the entire 2014 season because of stress fractures in both of his legs. But while Romine — for now — figures to share the club’s shortstop duties with either utilityman Danny Worth or rookie Hernan Perez, Drew is a proven starter coming off a solid season with Boston.
Drew’s market has been hurt both by his desire to land a multiyear deal and the draft pick compensation his signing team must relinquish because of Boston’s qualifying offer. Signing Drew to a one-year deal could be appealing to the Tigers, though, as Iglesias’ injury certainly leaves a big hole, especially defensively.
Drew hit .253 with 13 home runs and 67 RBIs in 124 regular-season games last season. The 31-year-old struggled offensively in the playoffs, but he continued his excellent glove work throughout the Red Sox’s World Series run.
According to Lowe, it is believed Drew wouldn’t want to sign with the Tigers until the day after Opening Day. That would make Drew an unrestricted free agent next offseason with no compensation attached, whereas signing before then would give the Tigers an opportunity to extend him a qualifying offer at the onset of free agency next winter.