Gammons: Drew now willing to play other positions

Gammons: Drew now willing to play other positions
January 16, 2014, 2:45 pm
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A most interesting tidbit from Peter Gammons on Gammons Daily:

Last winter, the Yankees wanted to sign Stephen Drew, but were told he would only play shortstop. So he ended up with Boston. But this week Scott Boras dropped several hints that Drew would be willing to play other positions, which might make him more attractive to both the Red Sox and Yankees; Boston might be able to use him at short, third and even first base, and the Yankees could play him at second and third and have him as insurance if Derek Jeter has any physical problems. In fact, Drew’s value may be greater if he will play several positions.

So what does this tell us?

  • That the market for Drew is so stagnant that Boras needed to jumpstart it, and/or

  • That Drew himself --- because he now feels he won't get the contract he wants if he insists on playing short, or simply because he's concerned he may never get a job -- is now willing to do something he's been unwilling to do previously: Move off shortstop. (Remember when Will Middlebrooks was injured last year and John Farrell dismissed out of hand the idea of having Drew play third, instead moving Jose Iglesias there?)

The timing is interesting, too, since it comes days after the Yankees found themselves in need of a third baseman following the banishment of Alex Rodriguez.

Gammons also reported that the Red Sox "let Drew and Boras (early in their negotiations) know that the plans are for Xander Bogaerts to be the Boston shortstop," leaving either third base or (more likely) a utility role as Drew's options if he returns here. The Yankees, with holes at second (with all due respect to Brian Roberts) and third, may be able to promise Drew more playing time.

Drew still has the compensatory draft pick attached to him, thanks to the Sox' making him a qualifying offer, which could be as big a reason there's no interest in him as his previous unwillingness to play anything except short. In any case, we'll see if Boras' latest gambit thaws those frozen waters.