Red Sox, shortstop Drew agree to one-year deal
Prospect Iglesias likely to remain at Triple-A for another year of seasoningBy Evan Drellich / 12/17/12 11:46 AM ET
BOSTON -- The Red Sox agreed to a one-year deal with shortstop Stephen Drew worth $9.5 million on Monday, a Major League source confirmed to MLB.com.
The Red Sox have not confirmed the deal.
The agreement with Drew means Jose Iglesias won't be the Boston's starting shortstop in 2013, barring injury, and that Iglesias' status as the club's shortstop of the future is questionable.
Drew, who turns 30 in March, split last season between the D-backs and the A's as he fought through right ankle problems stemming from a nasty break of the ankle in 2011. He hit just .193 with two home runs in 40 games and 155 plate appearances for Arizona, but did better once he was dealt to the upstart A's: he had five home runs and a .250/.326/.382 line with Oakland.
Drew had a mutual option for $10 million that both he and the A's declined in favor of a $1.35 million buyout.
With Drew in the fold, Iglesias is presumably pushed to another year at Triple-A Pawtucket to keep growing. Possessing an incredible glove, Iglesias turns just 23 in January, but hit just .118 in 77 Major League plate appearances last season. He has never hit well at Triple-A for an extended time either.
If Iglesias returns to Pawtucket, he'll have power-hitting 20-year-old Xander Bogaerts right on his heels. Bogaerts finished the 2012 season at Double-A Portland, and did just as well there as he had at Class A Salem. Bogaerts, MLB.com's No. 1 Red Sox prospect, had a .307/.373/.523 line between both levels, and figures to start again at Portland in 2013.
According to FanGraphs.com, Drew was a plus-defensive shortstop by Ultimate Zone Rating from 2009-11, but was not in 2012. Entering his eighth Major League season, Drew hasn't spent any time in the AL outside of the stint with Oakland. The D-backs drafted him as the 15th overall pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, and he's a lifetime .265/.326/.482 hitter. Drew reached double-digit homers from 2007-10, but hasn't been able to get enough plate appearances the last two seasons.
Overall, Drew's signing fits the Red Sox's M.O.: a short-term deal on a guy with rebound potential. CBSSports.com first reported the deal.
Last season was the first since 2006 that Boston didn't have a Drew on board, after Stephen's brother J.D. quietly went off into retirement following the 2011 season.