In less than two weeks, the calendar will flip to February. There are over a half dozen big name free agents still available and shortstop Stephen Drew is among them.
The Mets have been linked to Drew for the last month or so, and are still interested in signing the soon to be 31-year old. Writes Anthony Rieber in Newsday:
The Mets have not ruled out a short-term contract for free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew; they are patiently waiting for Drew and agent Scott Boras to find a long-term deal if they can. Drew hit .253 with 13 homers for the Red Sox last year.
According to reports, the market for Drew is limited to the Red Sox and Mets.
Scott Boras, who represents Drew, has been hinting that Drew is willing to play positions besides shortstop with the hope that it would lead to his market expanding.
While playing more positions would make Drew more versatile, playing anywhere but the middle infield would severely weaken his value.
At shortstop or potentially second base, Drew offers above average pop and (at least at shortstop) a reliable glove. If he moves to a corner position, his offensive skill set wouldn’t play up and his glove would be an unknown.
Many continue to reason that Drew will return to Boston, but I think there’s a flaw with that reasoning.
The Red Sox have top prospect Xander Bogaerts ready to start at shortstop, Dustin Pedroia at second base, and Will Middlebrooks in the mix at third base. If the Red Sox did offer Drew a contract to return, it would be very surprising if it was for more than a year. Boston simply has no reason to offer more than that.
As Rieber notes above, the Mets remain interested, and are apparently waiting for Scott Boras to come to the conclusion that Drew isn’t going to get three years from anyone.
If Boras comes to that conclusion and the Mets offer a two year deal, they would appear to be the frontrunners for his services.
As is always the case with free agency, any team can swipe in and offer Drew three years. It would be very surprising, though, if that actually happened.