Stephen Drew willing to sign one-year deal with Tigers
The Detroit Tigers are without a starting shortstop after losing Jose Iglesias to a shin injury. Stephen Drew is still without a team. Seems like the perfect match, doesn't it? And for Drew, it's a match he'd be more than happy to make. John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press reported Friday that Drew, last of the Red Sox, is willing to take a one-year deal with Detroit if the team were to offer it.
Drew has been left a free agent due to the qualifying offer extended to him by Boston, which would force any team that signed him to give up a first-round pick. That's scared off all of Drew's suitors to date, and the Red Sox showed no interest in bringing Drew back, instead turning to top prospect Xander Bogaerts at shortstop. For Detroit, signing Drew would require the team sacrificing its first-round pick—the 23rd pick overall—but the Tigers are lacking any viable internal options to replace Iglesias at short. Currently, the front-runners for the starting job are Hernan Perez and Danny Worth, though Detroit just added utility infielder Andrew Romine in a trade with the Angels. Romine, however, has just 15 career big league games played at shortstop.
A one-year deal for Drew would be especially attractive to Detroit, as that would allow the Tigers to give Iglesias the starting role once more next season. The young Cuban infielder, acquired from Boston at last season's trading deadline, is expected to miss all of 2014 after suffering stress fractures in both of his shins.
According to Lowe, the 31-year-old Drew would want a one-year deal for roughly $14 million, the same amount he would have earned had he accepted Boston's qualifying offer. Lowe adds that Drew would like to wait to sign until after Opening Day, thus preventing Detroit from giving him a qualifying offer in the offseason and making him an unrestricted free agent with no draft compensation attached. In 124 games and 501 plate appearances for the Red Sox last season, Drew hit .253/.333/.443 with 13 homers and 67 RBI. Drew spent all 124 of those games at shortstop, and has played 916 of his 917 career major league games at that position.