There’s been a lot of talk back and forth lately about Stephen Drew. First he’s not coming back to Boston. Then, it’s still possible he could come back to Boston. Then, both sides are still interested in each other.
I’m just not sure why the Sox would want him back.
Not that I don’t see his value as a player. He’s an above average shortstop who can certainly hit well enough to add value to the team. Which is exactly why they signed him in the first place.
But, they only signed him to a one-year deal for a reason too. Right?
Wasn’t he just the stop gap for Xander Bogaerts? They didn’t sign a shortstop to a three year deal entering this season because he would be overkill by the end of the deal. Frankly, thanks to Iggy, Drew was almost overkill this year.
So, what’s changed?
I don’t think that Bogaerts has shown anything that would change that plan. Has he? Does anyone have a problem handing him the starting job next season? Isn’t a season very similar to the one Drew gave us a reasonable expectation for Xander? So, why sign a guy to block his path? Especially to the multi-year deal that some are talking about?
Is Middlebrooks the problem? Is he not holding up his end of the plan? Do they not trust him to start at third? If that’s the problem, why wouldn’t the Sox get a replacement third baseman? Rather than shift Bogaerts from the position he’s going to be playing for the rest of his career to fill in, just grab Drew’s comp at third? Even if Middlebrooks needs another year, isn’t it still XB-WMB on the left side for the six years after that?
Is Middlebrooks not coming back next year? Do they plan on sending him off as the big chip in a big prize? That would make moving Bogaerts to third more reasonable. Maybe even make the move permanent. Then, you can sign Drew for a few years while the Sox shop around for a replacement.
Are the Sox just driving the price up for everyone else? Might as well pretend you’re interested. Anything you can do to make other teams spend money has to help you. (For the same reason, I think Pedroia should just randomly tweet that he’d be open to moving back to shortstop if it would help the team free up a spot for another player.)
Or, are the Sox just staying in on Drew so they have options for as long as they can? Keep the conversation going just in case Miami calls tomorrow dangling outfielders. Hate to officially pass on Drew, someone you know can play well here, and then have an offer come in the next day of a stud that required Middlebrooks in return.
What’s the motivation?