Stephen Drew to be back as Red Sox shortstop?

Stephen Drew to be back as Red Sox shortstop?
January 3, 2014, 12:00 am
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Will Stephen Drew return to the Boston Red Sox?

The shortstop is still out there on the free-agent market, and he and agent Scott Boras apparently are waiting for someone to come through with a suitable offer of a multiyear contract for Drew, who will turn 31 shortly before the 2014 season begins. Drew turned down a one-year deal from Boston, but thus far nothing is cooking elsewhere.

The New York Yankees, who need insurance in case Derek Jeter can’t will his 40-year-old body to play everyday shortstop, were seen as one possibility, but the club has indicated it won’t be going after Drew. The New York Mets have also been mentioned, but they apparently are waiting, maybe hoping to get a bargain — something that Boras clients are rarely described as.

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So maybe the Red Sox re-enter the picture. Drew’s return could be seen as something of a referendum on third baseman Will Middlebrooks, 24, who struggled in the latter part of last season. With Drew at short, Xander Bogaerts, 21, could play third as the Red Sox hope to start cashing in on all of the potential Bogaerts possesses.

If Drew signs elsewhere, Bogaerts steps into the shortstop role he’s been groomed for and the Red Sox hope Middlebrooks solves whatever was ailing him.