The Boston Red Sox feel they have all the leverage in contract negotiations with free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew and may soon offer a one-year, take-it-or-leave-it deal, Boston.com's Peter Abraham reports.
With young infielders Xander Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks on the roster, in addition to the re-signing of first baseman Mike Napoli, Boston has the power here. While bringing back Drew would likely help the team, they don't necessarily need him, which would allow them to offer the type of contract Abraham speculated on in his report.
Another thing helping out the defending champions here is how soft the market for Drew has been up to this point. Earlier this month ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reported that agent Scott Boras attempted to engage the New York Mets in talks for the shortstop, however, it has since been reported by The New York Post's Kevin Kernan that Mets GM Sandy Alderson would only be interested in bringing in Drew on a one or two-year contract.
While there were rumblings earlier this offseason about the Minnesota Twins having interest in Drew, 1500 ESPN's Darren Wolfson reported that a source told him that he does not see Minnesota being a player for the free-agent shortstop.
Drew hit .253/.333/.443 with 13 home runs, 29 doubles, 67 RBI, 6 stolen bases and 124 strikeouts in 442 regular season at-bats with the Red Sox in 2013. The New York Post's Joel Sherman reported earlier this offseason that industry sources predicted Drew would wind up with a three-year contract at about $12 million per year, although that appears less and less likely now.