The Stephen Drew saga has extended past the reporting date for pitchers and catchers, and one of the clubs that has interest in the free agent shortstop may be close to moving on entirely.
The Red Sox, who Drew played for last year, would likely welcome him back on a one year deal in a super-utility role.
However, with negotiations at a standstill, Boston is dropping hints that they can’t go much longer without clarity. Writes Pete Abraham in the Boston Globe:
Sox manager John Farrell said Saturday there has been ongoing dialogue between Boras and general manager Ben Cherington but nothing new to report. Farrell then suggested the Red Sox would have to move on at some point soon out of respect to Xander Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks.
Said Red Sox manager John Farrell in Abraham’s article:
The one thing that we don’t want is a lingering ‘what if’ if Stephen is still out there. In all fairness to our guys, our clubhouse [and] guys that would be affected if he were to be brought in. Certainly I can’t speak for Ben [Cherington] in this situation, but I think the more that we know what our team is going to look like, or at least those guys in our clubhouse, it probably settles some of that wondering if another player is going to join us.
As is the case with Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson, and the Mets, personnel decisions for Boston will come down to general manager Ben Cherington.
Still, today’s comments from Farrell are noteworthy since Cherington has noted recently that the Red Sox are only staying in touch with Drew’s agent Scott Boras as a courtesy.
The Red Sox don’t have a need for Drew, and that’s reflected in the way they’ve gone about their negotiations with Boras.
If the Red Sox publicly remove themselves from the negotiations, Scott Boras’ already weak negotiating position will become even flimsier. One would think Boras would seek a resolution while the illusion that Boston is still in the running is still out there.
It’s been said that the Mets are willing to go to two or even three years in order to secure Drew’s services, but it was recently reported that Boras is seeking an opt out clause after the first year of any deal for Drew – putting all the risk on the signing team. That’s something that likely won’t fly with Sandy Alderson.
While Alderson has been playing semantics and engaging in wordplay when the Drew situation comes up, several reporters (Peter Gammons, Jim Bowden, etc.) have predicted that Drew will eventually sign with the Mets.
It appears that the Red Sox are just about ready to move on, the Yankees have reiterated that they’re not interested, and no other team has emerged as a legitimate suitor for Drew’s services.
This has been written every other day for the last month, but something has to give eventually.