LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Scott Boras, the agent for free agent shortstop Stephen Drew, said Wednesday that Drew will have “numerous options to choose from, options from a variety of teams,” but the Red Sox remain in play for his services.
“I think everybody agrees it worked well for everybody,’’ Boras said, referring to the year Drew just spent in Boston as the team’s every-day shortstop. “He’s certainly a candidate for them.’’
In November, the Red Sox offered a $14.1 million qualifying offer for Drew, but he turned it down, evidently confident that he would receive more lucrative multiyear offers.
Last month, a baseball source said Drew would not be returning to the Red Sox because a number of teams are willing to make multiyear offers beyond anything Boston would do.
To date, no team willing to give him such a deal has surfaced publicly, and Boras acknowledged that the compensatory draft choice attached to Drew -- and any free agent who received a qualifying offer from his 2013 team -- has a dampening effect on that player’s market.
But when asked if Drew would have any problem receiving multiyear offers, Boras smiled and said, “No, not a problem.’’
He acknowledged that some of those offers have yet to materialize and will do so only if clubs are able to make other moves. If Drew does indeed have multiyear offers in hand, does that make it less likely that he'll return to the Sox?
“That’s not a decision Stephen has made yet,’’ Boras said. “We have to look at the totality of what’s available to him. Some of the offers are -- the positions teams are taking -- are somewhat contingent on another move. To have a full slate of what’s available to him is not yet something that is ripe.’’
That being the case, it appears that Drew will remain in a holding pattern until he has a clearer sense of what might be available. And the Red Sox, who have rookie shortstop Xander Bogaerts penciled into the lineup, are willing to wait along with Drew before widening their search for another shortstop, who would probably serve as a backup.
Drew, who made $9.5 million on a one-year deal last season, hit .253 with 13 homers and 67 RBIs in the regular season. His .777 OPS was second among American League shortstops with more than 500 at-bats. He played excellent defense during the postseason but struggled mightily at the plate, going 6-for-54 (.111).