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The Red Sox sign Stephen Drew

Dec 17, 2012, 7:23 AM EDT

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Jon Heyman reports that the Red Sox have reached an agreement with shortstop Stephen Drew on a one-year deal for $9.5 million.

Thanks in part to recovery from an ankle injury Drew hit just .223/.309/.348 in 327 plate appearances this past season between the D’Backs and A’s, but he drew interest from several teams, including Tigers, Yankees and Athletics. But the Red Sox have him and, as Heyman notes, will use him as a stopgap between now and the time when either Jose Iglesias or Xander Bogaerts are ready.

It’s been a busy winter so far for the Red Sox, who, in addition to Drew, have signed  Shane VictorinoRyan DempsterDavid Ross and Mike Napoli.

  1. uyf1950 - Dec 17, 2012 at 7:33 AM

    Youkilis’s $12MM and his 2012 numbers look like Yankees got a bargain compared to what the Red Sox are paying Drew ($9.5MM). When you also consider the Red Sox traded away Marco Scutaro to begin the 2012 season.

    • sandpiperair - Dec 17, 2012 at 7:50 AM

      You’ve been all over the Red Sox free agent signings this offseason. I don’t know which team you do support, but you love to hate the Sox. Yes, all of the signings would be awful if you only considered each free agent’s 2012 numbers– but this year is a new season, and all of these guys have had some degree of success in the past as well.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 17, 2012 at 7:57 AM

        In case you haven’t noticed I’m not the only one that has been all over the Red Sox signings this off season. But if you’re interested in why. It’s because the Red Sox dumped over $250,000,000 in salary this past summer. You would think with all of that money they saved they could have signed some better players than: Jonny Gomes, Victorino, Drew, etc… That’s just my opinion. I don’t mean this to be sarcastic but if you had been on this site for any length of time you would know what team I am a fan of. Have a good day.

      • thehypercritic - Dec 17, 2012 at 8:13 AM

        I get that you’d like to see your team spend some of that freed up salary on the open market, but it’s been several years since that could be rationally done.

        Very few worthy talents reach free agency any more, and those who do are priced well past any reasonable expectation of return on investment due to supply and demand.

        You might not love the Drew signing, but given how shallow the talent pool is at that position and how little risk is involved it makes sense in a way that most uses of that salary would not.

      • skeleteeth - Dec 17, 2012 at 8:41 AM

        @uyf1950

        Only thing I like about the Red Sox signings this off-season is the years. Who the hell, of the top FA’s this year, would they have been able to sign to moderate contracts, years & money?

      • Ari Collins - Dec 17, 2012 at 9:38 AM

        I stopped arguing with uyf long ago. He does literally nothing but cherry-pick numbers to bash Red Sox signings and wishcast projections on Yankee players.

        Most people would agree that the only significant overpay Boston has had this offseason is Victorino, and that by maybe $10MM total, or no overpay at all if Ellsbury is traded and Victorino is used to his full capacity in CF.

        Boston’s gonna have a $140MM 85-win team, which, while not an efficient use of resources, gives you a good team with a shot at the postseason and is much better in efficiency and quality than their $170MM 70-win team of last year. And all without blocking any of the very good prospects that will arrive in 2014-2015.

        So yeah, I’m pretty happy with this offseason.

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 17, 2012 at 9:48 AM

        You may be right Ari about the 85 wins, but I see that as a maximum. Signing this group of free agents to a maximum of 3 years is a wise move. The Red Sox do have a plan and are following it. Not sure what they plan with Ellsbury when he reaches free agency.

    • thehypercritic - Dec 17, 2012 at 7:52 AM

      I’m confused.

      Are you suggesting that you’d prefer the 37 year-old for 3/20mil over the 29 year-old with more natural talent on a one-year flyer?

    • rcquinn1972 - Dec 17, 2012 at 8:07 AM

      Your opinion is as useless as the nipples on a bull. Keep hating on the Sox, we love proving you idiots wrong! Oh, and you STILL haven’t said who you root for? Yankees fan I am guessing.

      • purnellmeagrejr - Dec 17, 2012 at 9:16 AM

        who cares who he rooots for?

      • albertmn - Dec 17, 2012 at 10:16 AM

        Given that he always leans toward the Yankees, I have always assumed that the uyf stood for “ultimate Yankee fan” or something along those lines.

      • daisycutter1 - Dec 17, 2012 at 3:15 PM

        I enjoy the way the Sox have been proving everyone wrong for the last few seasons.

  2. proudlycanadian - Dec 17, 2012 at 7:37 AM

    The Red Sox overpay again for a stop gap solution. I give them credit for the contract only being for 1 year.

    The next question is about Napoli. That contract has yet to be finalized due to health considerations.

    • paperlions - Dec 17, 2012 at 8:27 AM

      It’s a 1 year deal. It is hard to over-pay on a 1 year deal. It is far far worse to give too many years than a little too much money in a 1 year deal. Their last 2 deals have been really good ones. The Napoli signing should work out okay as well (assuming it happens), even the Ross deal makes sense considering what he brings to the table (during his career Ross has been both a better hitter and catcher than your favorite player)….now, Victorino and Gomes….I really have no idea what they were thinking with either of those deals.

      • stlsportsfan84 - Dec 17, 2012 at 11:08 AM

        Agree, its hard to find a bad 1 year contract and you could do much worse than a flyer on a MI with Drew’s talent. For this price I wish the Cards had gone out and signed him, let him play for a year and then let him walk or try to extend.

        As for Victorino/Gomes, yeah I am not sure what is going on there.

  3. proudlycanadian - Dec 17, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    I am sure that John Farrell is happy that his dream job includes managing such high priced talent as Victorino, Dempster, Ross, Drew, Gomes and Napoli. His Red Sox will most certainly have a higher payroll than his former team.

  4. tashkalucy - Dec 17, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    I said last off-season that the Yankees and Red Sox were headed downhill. Got reamed for it. That’s fine. Everything is unwinding as I predicted.

    I said I thought the Red Sox were the worst of the two and that they were in big trouble. And these signings they’ve made this year…..total garbage. I understand a stopgap player or two, but all these guys? It just shows how depleted the great [sic] Theo Epstein left that roster, the farm system and the budget.

    The Yankees are not a whole lot better, just a few years behind – both of them spent years and years of overpaying free agents and trading their farm system for other teams salary dumps……until all they’re left with are old teams and some guys in A ball that Peter Gammons will talk up for them. Not that these are the only 2 teams – the Phillies and Angels are now doing the exact same thing. I’d get down on the Dodgers as well but at least they had the good sense to throw money into their front office and put a priority on building their farm system up – see the signings of Bob Engle, Gerry Hunsicker and Pat Corrales (and the people they brought with them) – that will be far more important then the signings of so-so players that will be forgotten within 2 years. My goodness, the Red Sox are starting to look like the Cleveland Indians….and why not, Mark Shapiro trained Ben Cherington.

    The Red Sox have been headed steadily downhill since the day they traded Manny. When Jeter retires there is no one remotely ready to replace him for the Yankees – not just on the field and in the clubhouse, but even for ancillary things like neutralizing the pressure the NYC media puts on Yankee players and the coaching staff.

    It’s fun to watch this stuff. It increases my appreciation for Andrew Friedman, Stuart Sternberg and Joe Maddon who have made the Rays a fascinating story for 4 years now, yet are routinely dismissed because they don’t may glitz moves that win the off-season pub – just smart moves that win in the regular season.

    • paperlions - Dec 17, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      I remember…and you were right. I think the Yankees are really going to struggle this year. Old teams do that…and they are OLD….the Yankee cliff is fast approaching and they haven’t done anything to avoid it. In contrast, the RS just self-destructed. It has been entertaining to witness.

      • tashkalucy - Dec 17, 2012 at 9:58 AM

        Yes, I was right. And will be right about the Phillies within the next 2 years, and the Angels within the next 3-4. Not very hard to figure out.

        At the moment I see twice as many dislikes as likes for my comment above. I’d expect the ratio to grow a bit. Last year the ratio was 4-6 to 1 as I made numerous posts. This year there is no reason to. My goodness, it sure looks like not only the Rays, but the Blue Jays and Orioles as well are passing the Yankees and Red Sox.

      • paperlions - Dec 17, 2012 at 11:47 AM

        Yeah, the Philly demise has been quite obvious for a while….thus the “murky at best future”, and they haven’t done anything to get younger or better. They may have one last hurrah left in them, but the age cliff is coming.

        The Angels are just signing a whole lot of deals that are way too expensive and way too long….that never ends well.

  5. proudlycanadian - Dec 17, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    I am sure that Drew will play with the same amount of passion that his brother exhibited during the latter’s time with the Red Sox.

    • navyteach - Dec 17, 2012 at 9:26 AM

      OK, so the Blue Jays made a trade for some underachieving, overpaid players from the last-place Marlins and traded the farm for a 38 year old pitcher. Let’s not forget that they hired back the same coach that THEY fired. See, pointing out flaws is pretty easy in December.

      I’d say December is a bit too early to be crowning anyone champs or losers of the offseason but feel free to keep pointing out deficiencies before a single pitch has been thrown.

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 17, 2012 at 9:29 AM

        It appears that many Red Sox fans are very sensitive today.

      • tashkalucy - Dec 17, 2012 at 10:05 AM

        Red Sox fans are the biggest whiners in MLB. Yankee fans are bad, but the Red Sox fans are like rich kids that complain when daddy hasn’t bought them the shiniest bicycle around. Those 2 contingents take over national blog boards like because their team bought them contention for a while, that makes the fans baseball aficionados.

        Solid, fundamental baseball is played in the NL more so then in the AL. The Red Sox and Yankees could bully their way to winning by opening up the checkbook for years. But teams like the Rays and now the Orioles and make up for less talent by playing fundamental baseball.

        The Mets did the shop till you drop thing for a while and they blew up when the owners had a financial setback. Mets have been in blow it up mode. Red Sox are in it but trying to deny it. Yankees shortly, followed by the Phillies then Angels.

    • paperlions - Dec 17, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      Nah, you are just posting petty bullshit….that’s all.

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 17, 2012 at 9:41 AM

        As always, I await your succinct commentary.

      • paperlions - Dec 17, 2012 at 9:49 AM

        Every time you post about Farrell, who Toronto didn’t want to keep around anyway, it comes across as childish and petty….and you do it a lot.

        The quip for Drew is just pure stupidity and ignorance. Ripping players that are highly productive for lacking the level of passion you prefer is like praising unproductive players for exhibiting the requisite amount of grit. A simultaneous display of ignorance and stupidity….in this case triggered by your apparently epic inferiority complex with respect to the MLB team you root for.

    • yahmule - Dec 17, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      Well, they’re in the early stages of another 86 year drought, so it’s understandable.

  6. Ari Collins - Dec 17, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Solid deal if you think Drew will bounce back to his 2 WAR seasons of ’08, ’09, and ’11, overpay if he’s replacement level like his half-year last year, massive bargain if he’s the 5-win player of 2010. I’ll say he’s a 1-2 win player and a slight overpay, but on a one-year deal it’s hard for a slight overpay to matter, and he fills the one position player hole they still had.

  7. Jack Marshall - Dec 17, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Again: bet on John Farrell to win the Manager of the Year, and not because there’s anything great about John Farrell. Everyone is under-estimating the Red Sox strength because of a freak combination of injuries and off-seasons in 2012. If Ellsbury returns to 2011 form; if Lester just duplicates his performance before last season; if Pedroia can stay health—and none of this is unlikely— it’s a 90 win team easily. Easily. If the Lackey comes back strong, Lavernaway plays like he did in the minors, Drew rebounds and Middlebrooks is as good as I think he is, the team will be even better.

    • tashkalucy - Dec 17, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      I said that Cherington was trained by Shapiro, now you Red Sox guys are starting to sound linke Indians fans……

      If everyone has a career year and there are no injuries and some guys we never heard of come up from the minors and make big contributions……..

      • Ari Collins - Dec 17, 2012 at 4:33 PM

        He didn’t say that everyone had to stay healthy, nor did he mention a boatload of prospects no one’s heard of. Nice try, though!

  8. redsox32c - Dec 17, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    Its easy to be underwhelmed by the signings this year but I think people are forgetting just how good this lienup still can be. Adding a mix of solid vets to Jacoby, Pedroia, Ortiz and Middlebrooks the lineup is actually very good on paper. Obviously there is injury concern with some of these guys but the talent is there. The big question is the starting pitching but again the talent is there in theory. If things break right I think they can still compete for a playoff spot but clearly they have a lot of if’s.

    The most important thing this year is the advancement of the young talent, if Middlebrooks, Bogaerts, Bradley Jr, Barnes and DeLarosa can continue to develope the future may be very bright.

    • tashkalucy - Dec 17, 2012 at 12:44 PM

      “…. the lineup is actually very good on paper.”

      And THAT’S the Red Sox solution!

      Put paper all over the Fenway Park infield and outfield…..because the team pays good on paper!

  9. weaselpuppy - Dec 17, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Dempster Bucholz Morales Doubront Mortensen is in the bottom 3 of pitching staffs in the AL….the lineup isn’t in the top half of the league…that’s a 75 win team.

    • Ari Collins - Dec 17, 2012 at 4:39 PM

      Good thing that’s not Boston’s rotation, then.

      If you think the lineup’s in the bottom half of the league, I’m guessing you know the lineup as well as you know the pitching.

  10. bostonboy82 - Dec 17, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    You clowns talk like this offseasons acquisitions are all the redsox have. The 5-6 guys added are just that, additions!! Yeah they may have overpaid for some guys but its not your money and they got tones to burn. They’re all short term deals that allow them flexibility. Sox fans are passionate, but the fans and the team are getting slammed for anything and everything they say or do. And why everyone thinks the jays are gonna be an awesome power in the AL-E are the really intelligent ones. You think acquiring 4 guys from a super-loser in Miami is great?! And signing a 38 year old knuckleballer who just showed up but thinks he’s A-Rod 10 years ago?! People people people….while your sitting around this xmas together in a big “circle”, focused on the xmas cookie and loathing over each others lack of intelligence, know that there’s someone smarter than you making decisions other than typing criticism and pressing “post”.

  11. ussportsfanuk - Dec 17, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    I think it’s typical of a the signings the Red Sox have been making this off-season, solid and not ‘flashy’. I have mentioned on a post on my blog how they seem to be changing their approach this year. They have been lt down recently by big money players under performing or spending too long injured. This new approach has still left them in better shape than at the end of the season!

  12. APBA Guy - Dec 17, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    Drew is doing the right thing for himself by signing for 1 year, and the Sox were wise to take advantage of it. In Sept he showed flashes of his old power, as well as good coverage at short. The Sox are taking a one year gamble that he’s recovered, can stay mostly healthy, and produce at a high level for a shortstop. Drew is betting on the same outcomes in the hope he can go back on the FA market next year in a much stronger position.

  13. soxfan1966 - Dec 17, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Once again, not a sexy pickup, but effective nonetheless…

    Drew should provide one year of cover while the Sox decide if Iglesias can hit or wait until Bogaerts’ success at the lower levels can translate into something big in Pawtucket. His brother may have been criticized as passionless, but the numbers show that he was a pretty effective RF. I’m confident that this younger Drew will be the same, and a one-year deal is fantastic.

    I have to give Cherington some credit for building a lineup that will do a pretty fair amount of damage and score some runs. This will definitely be a better 1-9 order than the AAA team that was trotted out at the end of last season.

    Victorino may not be the player he was a few seasons ago in Philly, but I think he will produce a better showing in Fenway than he did in that cavern in LA.

    I would have preferred the Sox to go for LaRoche over Napoli, but once again … not a terrible move since he can be plugged into the DH role for the final year of that contract.

    I still criticize Cherington for not doing enough to improve the rotation. If Ryan Dempster has shown us one thing, it’s that he’s not ready to pitch in the AL. Given the market cost for good starting pitching, though (see the Greinke deal or the Mets recent fleecing of Toronto, for example) I wonder if Cherington is simply going to roll the dice by fielding a competitive but fatally flawed team next season in the hopes that this gives the pitching in the minors (De La Rosa, Webster, Barnes, Ranaudo, Owens, etc.) enough time to develop and make the Sox a real contender for 2014.

  14. mazblast - Dec 17, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Other than having a famous (or infamous) brother who was consistently overrated, I’ve never seen anything particularly distinctive about Stephen Drew. Sometimes competent shortstop, whoop dee doo.

    Most of Boston’s moves this off-season have been uninspiring but possibly good. This is the first one that has me saying, “Meh”.

  15. uyf1950 - Dec 17, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    This is hilarious, I posted one very simple comment about Drew’s contract in comparison to the one’s Youkilis signed with the Yankees and a gaggle of Red Sox fans got all kinds of defensive.

    • soxfan1966 - Dec 17, 2012 at 9:13 PM

      UYF1950, it’s not that Sox fans object to you making the comparison, it’s that your comparison is pretty laughable and clearly leaves a lot to be desired.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 18, 2012 at 3:03 AM

        I have to disagree with you at least in this case.

  16. mackie66 - Dec 18, 2012 at 4:27 AM

    They had a busy FA season last yr. how’d that work?

  17. uyf1950 - Dec 18, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    I so enjoy when non Yankee fans predict the demise of the Yankees because of their age. Everyone should close their eyes and go back in time one year probably these very same fans were saying the same thing last year. And yet the Yankees with that team were one of only 4 teams left standing. Yet for all the talk here from primarily Red Sox fans about the age of the Yankees and them falling off the cliff with really probably only one exception the Yankees are better at every starting position then the assumed “younger” Red Sox. For example:
    1st base: Tex is considerably better than the presumed Red Sox signee Napoli
    2nd base: Cano is better than Pedroia
    SS: Jeter is better than the Drew/Iglesias
    3rd base: Here is the one variant – Middleton is better here if he stays healthy, than Youkilis/A-Rod
    Catcher: Is a toss up right now. I don’t think either team is set at this position.
    LF: Gardner is better than Gomes/???
    CF: Granderson is better than Ellsbury – Ellsbury in 2 of his last 3 years can’t seem to stay on the field
    RF: Ichiro is better than Victorino
    Starting Rotations: Give me: CC, Kuroda, Pettitte, Hughes and Nova/Phelps every day of the week Over, Lester, Buchholz, Dempster, Lackey, Morales/Doubront
    Bullpen: Give me: Rivera, Robertson, Joba, Aardsma, Logan, Eppley and company Over, Bailey, Melancon, Tazawa, Bard, Uehara and company.
    I haven’t included a DH: Because quite frankly there are to many questions marks at this position for both teams. The Yankees as they usually do will rotate players at the DH and for the Red Sox since Ortiz missed considerable time in 2012 with and Achilles Heel injury I think the juries out on him. IF he come back like in the past of course Ortiz gets the big advantage.

    So while fans like to point out the fact that the Yankees are getting old(er), there is absolutely no doubt they are better then the team the majority of fans who posted on this topic root for. BTW, I don’t really expect Red Sox fans to agree with me.

    • Ari Collins - Dec 19, 2012 at 1:41 AM

      I’ll easily give you the rotation. No question, the Yankees have to break bad and the Sox to break good for there to be an advantage for Boston.

      But the lineup? The fact that DH and C, where Yankees are playing replacement-level players while Boston is playing above-average players, is a wash for you just says a lot about how absurdly biased you are. (Not to mention failing to know who’s getting the majority of playing time at LF or what our third-basemen’s name is.)

      Of course, this could all change if the Yankees manage to improve C and DH, but right now, you’d have to give an advantage to Boston at RF, DH, 3B, LF, and C.

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