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Monday, December 17, 2012

Red Sox in agreement on one-year deal with shortstop Stephen Drew

The Red Sox have an agreement with shortstop Stephen Drew on a one-year deal, league sources told CBSSports.com.

The Drew signing will allow the Red Sox one more year to develop slick-fielding youngster Jose Iglesias. Drew’s deal is pending a physical.

The value of the agreement isn’t known at this time.

The Red Sox this winter have shown a willingness to pay high salaries in their free-agent deals so long as the length is reasonable. The one-year deal fits since Boston is well-stocked at the minor-league level with top prospect Xander Bogaerts as well as Iglesias.

The Red Sox previously agreed to free-agent deals this winter with Shane Victorino, Ryan Dempster, David Ross and Mike Napoli, though they are still working through some issues before finalizing Napoli’s deal.

Iglesias is a terrific fielder but batted just .118 in 68 at-bats for Boston last year. He has had offensive struggles in the minors, as well. The Red Sox also have Pedro Ciriaco, who emerged as a big-leaguer last year but seems ticketed for a utility role. Drew will be the starting shortstop. The deal gives Drew, 29, a chance to enhance his value following a second season affected by a severe ankle injury suffered in a home-plate collision.

Thanks to Jess

Repoz Posted: December 17, 2012 at 08:02 AM | 49 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox

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   1. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 17, 2012 at 08:10 AM (#4326484)
Just one year? Sweet. Perfect signing.
   2. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 17, 2012 at 08:28 AM (#4326488)
Heyman says it's $9.5M. That seems about expected on the $$, happy about the length.
   3. Dale Sams Posted: December 17, 2012 at 08:29 AM (#4326489)
2011: Who are these guys?

2012: WHO are these guys??

2013: ...ok...you get it..
   4. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 09:05 AM (#4326502)

Weird. The Tigers and A's were after him for a while but the word was he wanted two or even three years.
   5. jmurph Posted: December 17, 2012 at 09:25 AM (#4326508)
Great deal. He was definitely on the off-season wish list.
   6. Dale Sams Posted: December 17, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4326512)
Great deal for a guy who accumulated 1.1 WAR in the last two seasons and -.5 WAR last year? I don't know if 'great' is the right word.
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 17, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4326515)
Drew broke his ankle in July 2011 and spent most of 2012 rehabbing. He improved over the second half of the season, as is pretty typical of rehabs from traumatic injuries.

Before the injury, Drew was a solidly above average shortstop with All-Star upside. Getting him for below league average money on the one-year deal is a good deal. (And 2013 money doesn't really matter much for the Sox, who won't hit to the luxury tax cap and have shed payroll from last season.)
   8. Shoebo Posted: December 17, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4326516)
The only caveat with Drew is that he spent much of 2011 slumping BEFORE he broke his ankle. He had a great April. But then from May 1 thru July 20 he hit about .220 with very little power in 60 something games.

So his last 600 major league PA's dating back to May 2011 have really been quite terrible.

.226/.302/.349 .651 OPS

He might bounce back in Boston though. He's always been a bit streakier than the average player.
   9. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 17, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4326518)
I agree - the signing is fine, but not "great".

What does this say about Iglesias, besides the obvious (that the team doesn't think he can hit enough to hold the job full time, or they think he is too injury prone, or both)?

To me, Iglesias would be a perfect solution for a low-budget team with lots of young pitching, particularly a ground-ball inducing staff. He can't hit for ####, but his glove truly is amazing, and he's a cheap solution for the next few years. Think of the Rays several years ago, right before they became competitive.
   10. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 17, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4326520)
What does this say about Iglesias, besides the obvious (that the team doesn't think he can hit enough to hold the job full time, or they think he is too injury prone, or both)?
I don't think we learned anything new about Iglesias today. The shocker would have been the Sox making him a major league regular despite a 600 OPS in the International League. That would have been new information about Iglesias. This is just a bit of confirmation of what we basically already knew.
   11. villageidiom Posted: December 17, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4326523)
The only caveat with Drew is that he spent much of 2011 slumping BEFORE he broke his ankle. He had a great April. But then from May 1 thru July 20 he hit about .220 with very little power in 60 something games.
Pfft. We had JD Drew slumping for 6 months in 2007. EDIT: Fortunately, they played in 7 months that year.
So his last 600 major league PA's dating back to May 2011 have really been quite terrible.

.226/.302/.349 .651 OPS

The counterargument is Jose Iglesias, whose AAA (MLE) and MLB numbers are in the 470 OPS range.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4326534)
What does this say about Iglesias

He's not a major leaguer. But we knew that.
   13. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4326536)
To me, Iglesias would be a perfect solution for a low-budget team with lots of young pitching, particularly a ground-ball inducing staff. He can't hit for ####, but his glove truly is amazing, and he's a cheap solution for the next few years. Think of the Rays several years ago, right before they became competitive.


There are lots of guys with good gloves who can't hit for #### floating around out there. Why trade for Iglesias when you can sign a minor league free agent?
   14. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 17, 2012 at 10:29 AM (#4326541)
I'm with MCoA, I love this signing. One year and for better or worse he's clearly better than any of the options the Sox have.

My bi-polar approach to the off-season continues and now I feel good again. If the off-season is this much of an emotional rollercoaster I don't know what I'm going to be like once April rolls around. I'm going to make Phil Coorey look stable at this rate.
   15. Mattbert Posted: December 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4326555)
Very nice. Fills a short-term need with a high-upside player for reasonable money and zero long-term commitment.

Now let's hope for positive developmental years from Iglesias, Bogaerts, and Marrero.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: December 17, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4326615)
I like that their acquisitions aren't costing any of their minor league talent or any of their draft picks. It's also good to get another lefty in the lineup.

Vs Lefty SP:
Ellsbury
Pedroia
Ortiz
Napoli
MBrooks
Gomes
Victorino
Salty
Drew

Vs Righty RP:
Ellsbury
Victorino
Pedroia
Ortiz
Napoli
Drew
MBrooks
Kalish
Salty
   17. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 17, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4326622)
Depending on how much they believe in Victorino's splits they may not move him up against RHP.

And "MBrooks" confused me a LOT more than it should have.
   18. Nasty Nate Posted: December 17, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4326628)
You thought it was Mel Brooks, didn't you?
   19. donlock Posted: December 17, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4326633)
So his last 600 major league PA's dating back to May 2011 have really been quite terrible.

.226/.302/.349 .651 OPS


$9.5 million for that? That is league average for a player who has been non-productive for years? Other than Jeter and Reyes, is there another shortstop in the AL who makes over $10 million a year? Must be a bunch if $9.5 is average.

Who was the real competition? Can't see Oakland for that money. Even Detroit must have budget limits.
   20. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4326640)
Love the signing, although I would have preferred 2 yrs for about $16 mil, but hey this works too. A positive I see with all these short, older player contracts is the ability to ship them out at the trade deadline if the Sox so desire.
   21. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4326645)

Who was the real competition? Can't see Oakland for that money. Even Detroit must have budget limits.


Yeah, I'm guessing Detroit dropped out after resigning Sanchez.
   22. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4326651)
You thought it was Mel Brooks, didn't you?


Honestly my mind went to Mauro Gomez but I couldn't figure out what you were talking about. Really, I was very puzzled.
   23. Sonic Youk Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4326659)
yea, I guess I buy this offseason plan. They look like a quasi-contender, and haven't done anything that might bone them in the long run. Thats probably the most reasonable approach, even if I haven't loved all of these deals.
   24. What Zupcic? Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4326667)
$9.5 million for that? That is league average for a player who has been non-productive for years? Other than Jeter and Reyes, is there another shortstop in the AL who makes over $10 million a year? Must be a bunch if $9.5 is average.


It's probably an overpay but it seems like the Sox could either have offered him market value for a chance that he might sign (and being JD's brother and all, probably a diminished one) or you can offer him more than market value and guarantee that he'll sign. This was the last real hole to be filled, the Sox still have tons of payroll room and the alternatives were... lacking... so it's hard to get worked up about overpaying for a one year contract.
   25. villageidiom Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4326668)
You thought it was Mel Brooks, didn't you?
Bobby Valentine's Career: Dead and Loving It
   26. dave h Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4326675)
Great deal for a guy who accumulated 1.1 WAR in the last two seasons and -.5 WAR last year? I don't know if 'great' is the right word.


That's pretty deceptive - what you're saying is he had 1.6 WAR in 2011 and -0.5 WAR in 2012. So basically he's getting paid to perform as in 2011.

$9.5 million for that? That is league average for a player who has been non-productive for years?


Where the number of years he hasn't been productive is at most two.

If he performs like 2010 you've got a huge bargain and a significant piece towards making the playoffs next year, if he performs like 2011 you get your money's worth, and an upgrade over your in-house options, and if he performs like 2012 you're out $9.5 mil and Iglesias gets his shot (again).

This was basically the only option for the Sox, so to do it at so little cost is pretty great. If anything I can understand the sentiment in #20, trying to avoid Beltre Redux.
   27. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4326689)
With the outfield seemingly set and now the infield seemingly set - are the Sox done with acquisitions this offseason? Should they be going after Jackson to solidify the rotation? As is they have Lester-Buchholz-Dempster-Lackey-Doubront-Morales with De La Rosa in the wings. If the Sox do sign Jackson who gets pushed out of the rotation?
   28. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4326691)
$9.5 million for that? That is league average for a player who has been non-productive for years? Other than Jeter and Reyes, is there another shortstop in the AL who makes over $10 million a year? Must be a bunch if $9.5 is average.


Erick Aybar - 8.5
Asdrubal Cabrera - 8.25 (AAV)
JJ Hardy - 7.0
Jose Reyes - 17.7 (AAV)
Alexei Ramirez - 8.5
Derek Jeter - 14.0 (I think I accounted for the option right)
Jhonny Peralta - 6.0

All from BBRef. For a one year deal for the one shortstop of any meaning on the market 9.5 doesn't look crazy high to me. I think he fits in well with most of the non-Jeter/Reyes guys in terms of ability (except Cabrera who hasn't reached FA yet).
   29. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4326695)
The Indians were reportedly asking for top-10/top-20 prospects in exchange for Cabrera, so his salary is valued as a big plus. (Rightly so.)
   30. Roger McDowell spit on me! Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4326743)
I'm not too happy the A's didn't beat this. He really was just rounding into shape much of the summer and his OPS+ was 128 in Sept/Oct. Given that they traded Pennington to AZ, they now have a black hole at SS (Adam Rosales? Eric Sogard? - blech). They didn't make an offer to McCarthy, so I figured they were saving money to resign Drew. It will be interesting to see what Beane does to fill that hole - I guess Hiroyuki Nakajima will wind up in Oakland, but the history of middle infielders coming to the U.S. from Japan isn't exactly littered with success stories, as any Twins fan can attest.
   31. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4326756)
Nice signing.
   32. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4326779)
I guess Hiroyuki Nakajima will wind up in Oakland, but the history of middle infielders coming to the U.S. from Japan isn't exactly littered with success stories, as any Twins fan can attest.
Well, there haven't been any recen NPB imports who have stuck effectively at shortstop, but two of the significant NPB success stories of he last decade (on a $$/win level) are middle infielders Tadahito Iguchi and Akinori Iwamura.
   33. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4326789)
Brother Drew Two: Electric Boogaloo
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4326795)
The Indians were reportedly asking for top-10/top-20 prospects in exchange for Cabrera, so his salary is valued as a big plus. (Rightly so.)

Sure, but Drew's not even close to the player Cabrera is, at this point.
   35. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4326802)
Of course. I was implying that Drew's comps would be the other guys on Jose's list, not Cabrera. Cabrera's obviously much better, as demonstrated by the (correct) perception in MLB that his contract is a major bargain.
   36. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4326808)
Sure, but Drew's not even close to the player Cabrera is, at this point.


True and if Cabrera has two more good seasons his contract will reflect that.
   37. Dale Sams Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4326820)
My bi-polar approach to the off-season continues and now I feel good again


Ditto. Though not 'good' per se. And it's almost completly based on your alls optimism.

I'd say my projection has gone from 76 wins to, 'Ok. Let me see what they look like.' If a gun were put to my head, I'd say 82 wins.
   38. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4326829)
For my own curiosity I took a quick look at what I believe these are the shortstops with 100+ games the last two seasons that have changed teams or hit free agency this winter;

Jose Reyes - trade
Yunel Escobar - trade
Marco Scutaro - 3 year/$20 million
Cliff Pennington - trade
Mike Aviles - trade
Mike Aviles - trade again
Stephen Drew - 1/9.5
Maicer Izturs - 3/9 (didn't play 100 games at short but plays it enough to be considered)
   39. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4326978)
FWIW Iglesias put up a 0.3 fWAR in his 70 PA, which is above average, working out to about 2.8 over a full season. He did it despite his sub-400 OPS because his defense was so good -- +7 in 193.2 innings according to Fangraphs and B-R. Obviously SSS applies and we've never seen a SS who can put up a 50 UZR/150 like Iglesias did last year. But I could see him being a 20 UZR/150 guy and he'd only have to OPS 600 to be above average with that kind of glove.

That said, the Sox need a lefty bat and Drew is a good buy-low candidate. Iglesias isn't going to be hurt by more AAA ABs, while Drew improves the 2013 team and potentially brings back a prospect or draft pick.
   40. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4327041)
But I could see him being a 20 UZR/150 guy and he'd only have to OPS 600 to be above average with that kind of glove.


If Iglesias can put up a 600 OPS, he will be the everyday starting shortstop. But there's some question whether or not he'll ever get to even 550 OPS. I'm not holding my breath.

What are the Sox long-term plans at short? Sox Prospects doesn't think Bogaerts will stick there (" Will transition to third base or left field down the line. Can stick on the infield.").
   41. PreservedFish Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4327047)
If Rey Ordonez could do it (600 career OPS on the nose), Iglesias can too! Their minor league numbers are actually very close.
   42. Nasty Nate Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4327048)
What are the Sox long-term plans at short?


Bogaerts is still the plan, I think. They also drafted a SS pretty high this year.
   43. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 17, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4327121)
Sox Prospects doesn't think Bogaerts will stick there


One of the interesting themes that I've noticed in many places since the summer is that Bogaerts CAN play short but is expected to grow too big to stay there. I think it's an important distinction to note that he's a decent shortstop who may not have the body to stay there long term rather than a guy who simply can't hack it at shortstop. It wouldn't surprise me if he spent his pre-FA years as a shortstop and around that time had to shift to 3rd base. Some of that will be impacted by Iglesias and Marrero of course.

   44. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 17, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4327126)
Count me in with those who are encouraged if not overjoyed by this signing. Though I will admit I did a fistpump in my car when I heard it on the radio. Short of a robbery of the Indians Drew was my first choice for '13 SS. I expect (well, I hope at least) the gears are turning on possible extension plans already.
   45. Walt Davis Posted: December 17, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4327136)
If Rey Ordonez could do it (600 career OPS on the nose), Iglesias can too! Their minor league numbers are actually very close.

That's what they said about Tony Pena Jr. And he did manage it for one season.

Wow, looking at his page, I see he was already 26 in that season. I'm stunned even the Royals gave him a starting shot at that age.
   46. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: December 17, 2012 at 08:47 PM (#4327276)
I don't mind it. It also means my Drew shirt is back in play - hope he takes the same number as his brother :)

Anyway Merry Christmas to my fellow Sox fans , I'll see most of you next year as we head into the real busy season now here at the pub.

Take care
   47. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 17, 2012 at 10:15 PM (#4327327)
Back at ya' Phil. Hope the pub stays nice and busy for you and the girls have a great Christmas!
   48. Darren Posted: December 17, 2012 at 10:28 PM (#4327338)
The stuff about the ankle injury and the asking price for Cabrera make me okay with this. If they could have had Cabrera for something less than an elite prospect, I would have really preferred that.
   49. Shoebo Posted: December 17, 2012 at 10:43 PM (#4327348)
The counterargument is Jose Iglesias, whose AAA (MLE) and MLB numbers are in the 470 OPS range.


Oh, I wasn't making an "argument".....my first words were "the only caveat"

They all have some caveat or another, and I'd much rather have Drew still on the D Backs at 10 million than giving up Bauer to get Gregorious. On the other hand, his bat speed has noticeably slowed a bit, and he's striking out more than ever before. Expecting a return to 2010 levels or production is overly optimistic. I know it's hard to look at Drew's career and not feel like you are getting a league average hitter than can play SS at least close to avg, give or take a few inexact fielding runs. I've always felt good about his defense anyway.

But most likely best case here is 90 OPS+ and lg avg defense, which is plenty good for a one year stopgap while a team figures out the future. And there IS always a chance he really rebounds. Players that were formally quite good are the most likely ones to be good again, provided they aren't too old.

Year    Age   PA   SO%
2006     23  226 22.1%
2007     24  619 16.2%
2008     25  663 16.4%
2009     26  595 14.6%
2010     27  633 17.1%
2011     28  354 20.9%
2012     29  327 23.2%
7 Yrs       3417 17.7%
MLB Averages     18.0

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