Free agent shortstop Stephen Drew, who is working out at agent Scott Boras’ training facility in Florida, recently spoke with Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Drew was upbeat, but had some pointed words about draft compensation and the perceived negative impact it’s had on his free agency:
You hate to say it, but it really messes up free agency for guys who worked hard. A lot of people don’t want to give up that first-round pick, and that’s what it boils down to. It’s unusual. I understand draft picks, but at the same time, you have a guy who’s proven as very good on defense and a top five shortstop if you look at it.
Scott Boras also weighed in, telling Heyman he isn’t worried about how long it’s taking Drew to sign:
Talent has no wristwatch. When you’re the steak, you don’t worry about what time dinner is.
In his article, Heyman, who has at times been accused of serving as a mouthpiece for Boras, says there are six teams who are believed to be interested in Drew “on some level.
At times, the article seemed like a Drew puff piece.
Stephen Drew – and the other three big free agents who have yet to sign – have a right to be a bit irked by the draft pick compensation issue.
Still, if Drew was as highly sought after as Boras is making it seem, the draft pick compensation issue would be a speed bump not a sinkhole.
According to reports, Drew is having trouble getting teams to guarantee more than one year for his services. At some point, he and Boras may have to swallow their pride.
The Mets make sense for Drew, as do the Twins, Blue Jays (to play second base) and Astros (if they’re looking long-range). The Red Sox seem ready to move on, and the Yankees have said they’re not interested.
Boras is reportedly seeking $14 million annually for Drew, which is something he almost certainly won’t get. It may come down to who offers two years first, and it remains to be seen who that will be (if it even happens at all).