December 18, 2012

Red Sox fill hole at shortstop by striking deal with Drew

Stephen Drew becomes the latest addition to the lineup, with a one-year, $9.5 million contract.

From news service reports

Shortstop Stephen Drew has agreed to a one-year, $9.5 million contract with the Boston Red Sox, according to multiple reports Monday.

Stephen Drew
click image to enlarge

Stephen Drew

The Associated Press

The deal includes $500,000 in performances bonuses.

Drew, 29, became available when the Oakland Athletics rejected a $10 million mutual option in October. Instead, Drew received a $1.35 million buyout.

The younger brother of former Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew, he played in only 79 games last season for Arizona and Oakland after suffering a fractured ankle during a slide at home plate in a game with Milwaukee in July 2011.

Drew was hitting .193 for the Diamondbacks when he was traded in August to Oakland. In 39 games with Oakland, he hit .250 with five homers and 16 RBI.

Before acquiring Drew, the Red Sox were faced with the prospect of going with slick-fielding, light-hitting prospect Jose Iglesias at shortstop. Iglesias got a chance to play regularly in September but hit just .118 in 68 at-bats.

Drew, a first-round draft pick in 2004, has a career .265 average in seven seasons.

His best season was 2008, when he hit .291 with 21 home runs, 67 RBI and 91 runs scored. In four full seasons before his injury, he averaged 15 homers and 63 RBI.

The addition of Drew continues an offseason makeover for the Red Sox, who already have signed outfielders Shane Victorino and Jonny Gomes, pitchers Ryan Dempster and Koji Uehara, and catcher David Ross.

The Red Sox also reached an agreement with Mike Napoli on a three-year contract, but that deal has been held up by concerns about Napoli's health, according to various media reports.


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