Larry Lucchino: Stephen Drew Signing Was ‘Rational Decision’ By Red Sox

Stephen Drew, Rob DrakeWhile the Stephen Drew signing looks like a disaster right now, the Boston Red Sox remain adamant that it’s way too early to pass judgment on the decision to bring back the veteran shortstop.

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington defended the move earlier this week, and president and CEO Larry Lucchino echoed the GM’s sentiments Friday during an appearance on WEEI’s “Dennis & Callahan.”

“I think we need to wait and see exactly what kind of contribution Drew makes,” Lucchino said. “I think it was a rational decision when it was made. Circumstances were such that we needed to improve this team, and one thing we didn’t want to do was improve the team and lose talent, prospects in the minor league system. We tried to avoid that.

“So the idea of paying money rather than paying in prospects was appealing to us, and I think we’ll just have to see if he makes a contribution over the next nearly 100 games.”

Drew is 1-for-14 with five strikeouts in four games since returning to the Red Sox. He has missed the last five games because of an oblique injury. It’s possible Drew could make an impact upon returning to the lineup, whenever that may be, but the move obviously looks much worse than it did May 21.

Another caveat is Xander Bogaerts’ sudden struggles. Bogaerts entered Friday’s game against the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park mired in an 0-for-16 stretch, and some have wondered whether the 21-year-old’s offensive troubles are connected to his shift to third base. Lucchino doesn’t see the position change as being an issue, though, and he even acknowledged that it’s likely Bogaerts will be Boston’s Opening Day shortstop in 2015.

“There was certainly discussion about that subject, but he’s a mentally talented young player who played third base when we won the World Series championship last year, so he’s certainly perceived by us to be the shortstop of the future,” Lucchino said. “But whether he plays shortstop or plays third base, this guy is going to have a great career right here in Boston. We’re excited about him. This was not about giving up on Bogaerts, to be sure.”

The Red Sox signed Drew to shore up their infield in the wake of third baseman Will Middlebrooks landing on the disabled list with a fractured finger. Instead, Boston has been forced to be patient.

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