This could be posturing, but it sounds like Boston is simply isn’t interested in bringing Drew back:
We feel like we’re in good shape to start the season tomorrow if we had to. There’s a circumstance for the Red Sox in that we have players that we believe in and bigger-picture things that we want to do, and some of that has nothing to do with Stephen Drew. Stephen did a great job for us last year. We respect him, and because of that, we’ve kept a dialogue going. But there’s nothing to be gleaned from that other than we’ve kept a dialogue going. We’re comfortable where we are. I don’t ever want to rule anything out because it doesn’t make any sense to do that, but we like the roster we have now.
Cherington also added the following:
Well, we made the qualifying offer. Since then, look, I’d really rather just keep it to we have a lot of respect for him and we respect his decision and the factors that he’s considering. We have issues on our own. We’re mostly focused on those issues. We’re mostly focused on what we feel is right for us and what is best, because there’s a mutual respect with him, with Scott. Of course, if it makes sense to talk, we’ll talk. But I think the time that’s being spent on it being talked about publicly is not necessarily consistent with the time we’re spending on it.
There’s GM-speak, and there’s frank statements that make total sense. Cherington’s words strike me as the latter.
Cherington is referring to Drew’s tenure in Boston in the past tense, minimizing the fact that the two parties are at all engaged in discussions, and saying things such as “I don’t ever want to rule anything out” in regards to Drew.
If there was a bidding war going on for Drew, or if the Red Sox had an actual need for him, Cherington using the media to create the illusion that the Red Sox were ready to move on would make sense. However, there appears to be little to no interest in Drew, and the Red Sox (with Xander Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks on the roster) don’t need him.
Using common sense and taking Cherington’s words into account, it seems highly unlikely that the Red Sox will offer Drew a two year deal under any circumstances.
Scott Boras can attempt to entice teams by hinting that Drew will play positions aside from shortstop, and he can attempt to create a market that isn’t there. It is, after all, his job to get Drew the most money possible. However, Drew’s value lies as a shortstop, and his market appears close to non-existent.
There are other teams out there, such as Houston and Minnesota, who can use an upgrade at shortstop and who won’t have to forfeit a first round pick for Drew, but there has been nothing connecting either one of those teams to him.
The Mets have reportedly been interested in Drew all along, and the reports over the last few weeks have indicated that the club is willing to go to two years to secure his services.
With the Red Sox seemingly disinterested, it would appear that the Mets are the lone serious suitor at the moment. That may change. If I were the Mets, I’d offer two guaranteed years now and see if Drew bites.