Sources: Red Sox not engaged at this time on Stephen Drew

May 17, 2014 - 12:55 pm

The Red Sox have struggled at times with the defense on the left side of their infield. They have struggled at times against right-handed pitching. They now have a starting third baseman (Will Middlebrooks) who is on the disabled list with a fractured right index finger. And they are almost certain not to get a draft pick for Stephen Drew, who, less than three weeks before the start of the Major League Baseball draft, has yet to sign with any club. According to industry sources, all of those factors have played a role in defining a clearer fit for Drew with the Sox than existed coming out of spring training, when the team wanted to commit to Xander Bogaerts at shortstop and Middlebrooks at third base. There are some in the organization who would love to see the Sox pursue Drew as a potentially stabilizing force -- someone who could solidify the infield defense, deepen the lineup against righties and help position the Sox well to withstand any further injuries to either Bogaerts or Middlebrooks. But, according to one industry source, there has not yet been any engagement with Drew about the idea of returning to Boston at this time. Obviously, that is subject to change. But for now, the 31-year-old -- who hit .253 with a .333 OBP and .443 slugging mark last year, including a .284/.377/.498 line against righties -- remains a free agent. As such, a potentially interesting market for his services could materialize once the draft starts on June 5. O nce the draft is underway, then a major impediment to a market for Drew -- the need to sacrifice a draft pick by any team (aside from the Red Sox) that signs him -- will be erased, meaning that the acquisition cost of the shortstop for teams that have struggled at that position (the Tigers, Blue Jays, Mariners, Mets and Pirates all come to mind as clubs with contending ambitions through the first quarter of the season who have endured woeful shortstop production; the Yankees, of course, could also see benefit to adding an alternative to Derek Jeter who could also give the team protection at other positions while getting regular at-bats against righties) will decrease significantly.