Fire Brand of the American League on the Red Sox's next shortstop:
- Bob Nightengale of USA Today said that the Diamondbacks plan on shopping shortstop Stephen Drew, with the Red Sox expected to make contact. 'Zona will seek pitching.
Drew's age 26 season has been solid for a shortstop: .258/.321/.432. However, coming off his .291/.333/.502 line from 2008, the year has been marked a disappointment. Having someone who can hit that as a base, though, with the potential for more is awesome.
Of course, if no trade can be worked out, Boston should get along fine with one more year of Alex Gonzalez. I think the Sox have learned their lesson in allowing themselves to be pigeonholed into certain shortstops. Drew will be coveted, but not needed.
If Boston made Clay Buchholz available, a deal could quickly be struck. However, I think that the only way Boston would move Buchholz is for a transcendent player -- a Felix Hernandez here, an Adrian Gonzalez there. For Drew, who appears to be a very good complementary player (in the mold of his brother), is Buchholz and his current 3.21 ERA and No. 3 starter status too much? I say yes.
I say yes, too. Young starting pitchers who have proved they can win in the American League are worth their weight in platinum. At the moment, the Red Sox have two sure things in their rotation next season. While Buchholz is hardly a sure thing, he currently pencils in as their No. 3 or 4 starter.
Can you trade a guy like that? Sure. Just not for a guy like Stephen Drew, who never seems to come up with the same season twice. As a rookie in 2006, Drew hit the snot out of the ball after joining the big club in mid-July. In 2007, he utterly stopped hitting. In 2008, he hit. And in 2009, once again he's not hitting much (though nothing near as poorly as two seasons ago). Meanwhile, his defensive numbers were pretty awful until this season. But there's little reason to think that he's become a different sort of player. Not yet.
Drew, then, is a question mark. The Red Sox probably are stuck with a question mark at shortstop next season, whether it's incumbent Alex Gonzalez or someone else. I just don't know that it makes a great deal of sense to trade a great deal for just another question mark. Particularly a National League question mark.