Free agent shortstop Stephen Drew is drawing interest from a number of teams including the Chicago Cubs, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. For a club rich in young infield talent, the embattled Drew is somewhat of an intriguing name, though he could provide some use in 2015 for a Cubs team that is planning on regaining contender status.
The 31-year-old Drew was downright dismal in 2014, hitting for a miserable .162/.237/.299 in 300 plate appearances following a lengthy free agent process that left him unsigned until the end of May. Ultimately his -1.1 WAR was by far a career worst, though he provided some value on defense at shortstop, and later second base, following a trade deadline deal that sent him from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees. Of course, leading up to 2014, he had been quite good throughout his career, with a number of productive seasons as a strong defender with an above-average bat for the position. He hit .253/.333/.443 with a 111 OPS+ and 3.4 WAR in 501 plate appearances with the Red Sox in 2013.
Given his age and deteriorating skillset, Drew shouldn't be viewed as more than a potential reclamation project for the Cubs, who could bring him in on a one year deal and benefit from his veteran guidance and defensive versatility. Barring any negative ramifications from Starlin Castro's recent involvement in an incident in the Dominican Republic, the Cubs seem entrenched to head into the 2015 season with Castro at short and Javier Baez at second. Baez would figure to be Castro's backup at short, while center fielder Arismendy Alcantara is also capable of playing second. Drew would reasonably give the Cubs a true middle infield backup capable of playing both second and short, and potentially third base, where Luis Valbuena is currently slated to start until uber-prospect Kris Bryant's likely mid-season arrival.
Of course, the Cubs do already have a decent backup second baseman in Tommy La Stella, though he likely isn't an option at short. Top shortstop prospect Addison Russell could also contribute at some point in 2015, as the 20-year-old has already reached the upper minors.
Drew figures to be drawing a reasonable amount of interest as a potential bounce-back middle infield option on a one-year deal with minimal risk. Along with the Cubs, the Mets, Athletics, and Braves have also been linked to Drew. As have the Astros, though they are probably no longer in the running with Jed Lowrie now in the fold.