BOSTON -- Before ultimately agreeing to a contract with the Red Sox today, Stephen Drew said no to the Red Sox on two occasions, once in November and against in January. The Red Sox had an in-house replacement ready for Drew with Xander Bogaerts and decided before Spring Training that they wanted to commit to Will Middlebrooks at third base.
Now six weeks into the season with the Red Sox in need of an upgrade on the left side of the infield and the team is welcoming him back with open arms.
"We've added a very good player to improve this team and I think that is the one thing that Ben and ownership have repeatedly shown," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "When a need exists, they'll do whatever is capable and what is available at a given time to improve the team and Stephen's return to us could very well do that. It'll add stability to the left side of the infield. I've had a chance to sit and talk with Xander. I'm sure he's aware of everything that has been talked about and reported and just wanted to be a little bit ahead of things for what it might mean to his positioning as we go forward.
Shane Victorino expressed that it is always a good thing for the team when they are capable of adding a player like Drew.
"Anytime you sign a good player, it's a good thing," Victorino said. "A guy who has been here before, a guy who was part of the championship team. It's very important. Is he going to be the answer? I won't sit there and say that's the reason we're going to be that much better but I think it's a positive thing to have Stephen back and have him as part of this team. He was a big character guy and big part of the defensive aspect, the way we play the game and he's a great offensive player."
David Ortiz expressed a similar sentiment.
"Stephen helped us out a lot last year," Ortiz said. "He's a great player, a great teammate and hopefully he'll bring the same attitude that he had here last year and help us our to win some games."
Farrell said that Drew's ability to play shortstop will help tighten up the team's defense.
"We had very good infield defense last year and very good defense overall and Stephen was one of the main contributors to that," Farrell said. "The position that he plays, the talent that he is and I think that will lend an element of improvement immediately and that's not to slight anyone else. That's just to say how good of a defender he is and he was a main cog in a core group of players that loved to compete and they achieved something special."
With the current state of the offense and defense of the left side of the infield, general manger Ben Cherington felt that there was a need that needed to be filled with Stephen Drew.
"They are very well-aware of where we stand as a team and what the needs are," Farrell said. "Will's case is unfortunate that he is on the disabled list with a broken finger and that is completely out of his control and we'll work through it once he returns to us because there is going to be a need for a rehab assignment when he's healthy so we don't have an exact time frame on his return so with these moving parts, the best way to improve our team was to bring Stephen in."