Re: Hot Stove League Discussion Thread
posted at 11/14/2013 7:42 AM EST
A baseball source said Tuesday that shortstop Stephen Drew will not return to the Red Sox because there are a number of teams willing to make multiyear offers for his services beyond anything Boston would do. Agent Scott Boras said he has talked with Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington about Drew and his other free-agent client with Boston ties, Jacoby Ellsbury, but contended there is a high volume of interest in both players.
Of Drew, Boras said, "Obviously, if you want to win, and you want a middle-of-the-diamond player -- and a lot of really, really good teams need upgrades in the middle of the diamond -- he's got a very active, very large market."
The departure of Drew would leave the Red Sox in need of infield depth on the left side, Cherington acknowledged. On paper, the Red Sox would start the season with rookie Xander Bogaerts at shortstop and Will Middlebrooks at third base.
As for Ellsbury, Boras dismissed the seven-year, $142 million deal that Carl Crawford signed with Boston in 2010 as a comparative, calling it an "old contract."
"For any elite player, the number of premium players at that level who get to free agency now are rare," Boras said, responding to a question of how much interest there is in Ellsbury. "Teams recognize that. I think they view those players as difference-makers and getting players that are top-five offense, top-five defense at their positions, and they're young, are a real opportunity for a franchise."
The Red Sox remain one of those teams -- Boras said he spoke with Cherington -- but if the agent is truly intent on landing a bigger deal than Crawford got from Boston in 2010, it's hard to envision the Red Sox remaining in the bidding for long.