CHICAGO, IL: Stephen Drew #6 of the Arizona Diamondbacks hits a double in the 3rd inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
According to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, the Arizona Diamondbacks are fielding enough phone calls from struggling shortstop Stephen Drew that there's a good chance he'll be moved in the final guaranteed year of his contract. The Red Sox, as you might have guessed given you're reading this here, are one of three teams that are reportedly interested in his services, along with the Pirates and Tigers.
J.D.'s little brother appeared in just 86 games in 2011, thanks to surgery on his right ankle. He's spent most of the 2012 season recovering from that procedure, and in the little time he's played, has hit just .192/.246/.250. There's a lot of upside here, though: prior to 2011 and the ankle issues, Drew had just come off of a three-year stretch in which he hit .277/.335/.465, a line that, even after adjusting for his offense-heavy home park, translates to a 105 OPS+. Mike Aviles, on the other hand, has an 83 OPS+, or, the same that Drew has managed during the last year-plus when he's been hurt.
That's not to say Drew is here to take Aviles' job away. The thing that makes Drew intriguing for the Sox -- who, according to Morosi, would use him as a backup infielder in 2012 -- is that he has an option for $10 million in 2013, with a $1.35 million buyout. If he's healthy and productive, and the Sox get a chance to see what they have in him both in results and from closer, day-to-day scouting, they just might have themselves their 2013 shortstop already.
Now, if he is going to cost them considerably in terms of prospects, then this isn't necessarily that appealing, especially for the organization that just sent Jed Lowrie packing not too long ago. But if the price is right, and the Sox can get Drew around in order to benefit both the 2012 and 2013 teams -- as they did with the Mike Aviles trade last year -- then it's absolutely something worth looking into.
There's no word on what the cost would be, but Boston could eat the rest of Drew's 2012 contract, and assume the cost of the potential buyout, as well, and that should keep the prospect cost to tolerable levels. Drew isn't going to be handed a qualifying offer by the Diamondbacks when his deal is up, and the FOX report says it's unlikely his option would be picked up, either, so the D'backs are unlikely to look for a high-level prospect from the Sox. That's just the kind of move Boston should -- and generally does -- make at the deadline. Ask not just Aviles, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia about that one.