Sox notebook: 'Door open' for Drew

Sox notebook: 'Door open' for Drew
December 11, 2013, 11:15 pm
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington met with Scott Boras on Wednesday to further discuss free agent shortstop Stephen Drew.

"We've kept the door open,'' said Cherington of the team's interest in re-signing Drew. "We think we have a pretty good solution at shortstop [in Xander Bogaerts] if Stephen's not here. But we like Stephen and the job he did, so because of that, we've keep the door open. So we're going to continue to listen and talk and see where it ends up.''

At this point, the Red Sox seem to have most of the leveragew with Drew and can play a waiting game. If he's willing to come back on their terms, they'll take him. If not, they're happy to go with Bogaerts and pocket the draft-pick compensation they'll get for Drew signing elsewhere.

"If a deal makes sense for us,'' said Cherington, "we would do it today, on any player. I don't think there's a need to wait on anything. It's just a matter of if a deal makes sense. It's just a matter of whether or not it makes sense and we're still working on that.''

At the very least, Cherington said the talk with Boras gave the Red Sox a better understanding of what Drew is looking for and what he's prioritizing.

"We had a chance to talk,'' said Cherington. "We've been having conversations since the end of the season. I think we have a sense of what's important to him and he got a sense of what's important to us. We'll see where it goes.''

The Sox have to take into consideration that they could get a pick in next June's draft. Depending on the signing team, that pick could be after the first round, the second or the third.

"Draft picks are valuable,'' said Cherington. "You've got to factor that in to every decision, whether it's a free agent you're trying to retain or one you're signing from another team. It's a part of the equation. More and more teams are starting to work on exactly what the value [of a pick] is. I'm not sure anyone has figured that out precisely, but we know, in a ballpark sense,
what the value of those picks are, so we've got to factor that in.''

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On Thursday morning, Major League Baseball will hold its annual Rule 5 Draft, in which players with certain levels of playing time not protected on a 40-man roster can be selected for $50,000.

Cherington said he unsure whether the Sox could lose a minor leaguer.

"Not sure,'' he said. "I guess it's possible. There's always a handful of guys who aren't added [to the 40-man roster] that there's always a chance on [being grabbed]. Usually, you hear, but I haven't heard anything yet.''

He did seem to rule out the chances of the Sox making a selection. Usually, contending teams don't make picks, because the rules state that the player must remain on the 25-man roster the entire season and good teams don't want to use a spot to develop a player.

Also, the Sox are are full (at 40) on their 40-man roster and don't have room.

"I think we're unlikely to be in that position in the major league phase,'' said Cherington, "because of where our roster is.''

Already, the Sox will have to move someone off the 40-man to make the signing of Mike Napoli official. That could lead to a minor trade, with the Sox moving a spare part for a younger prospect or a player to be named later.

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Outfielder Ryan Kalish, who was non-tendered last month by the Red Sox, may be close to signing with another organization.

Initially, the Sox thought they had a chance to keep Kalish, who missed most of the past two seasons with various shoulder and neck injuries. The Sox needed a roster spot and decided to non-tender him, but would have liked to bring him him to camp next spring as a non-roster invitation.

An industry source Wednesday said Kalish is attracting interest from several teams and likely would go elsewhere.

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The Sox appear likely to sign Japanese pitcher Shunsuke Watanabe, a submariner, to a minor-league deal.