Shortstop Stephen Drew is heading back to Boston. He has signed with the Red Sox for the remainder of the 2014 season for around $10 million -- which is the $14.1 million qualifying offer he declined this past offseason pro-rated for the remaining games this season -- reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
Drew, 31, won a World Series ring as a member of the Red Sox last season. He hit .253/.333/.443 (111 OPS+) with 29 doubles, eight triples, 13 homers and 67 RBI while providing some solid defense at the premium position of shortstop.
Drew then headed to free agency after declining a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer from Boston. Due to this, draft-pick compensation was attached to Drew. This was at least part of the reason that Drew sat on the market throughout the offseason and headed into this season unsigned.
Going back to the Red Sox means the draft-pick compensation part isn't in the equation.
The Red Sox enter Tuesday with a 20-23 record. Rookie Xander Bogaerts (.269/.369/.379) hasn't been a problem, but third base has and Bogaerts played there during the postseason run in 2013 with Drew at short. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks is hitting just .197/.305/.324 this year and is again on the disabled list.
On the season, the Red Sox have gotten a .194/.302/.273 line from third basemen, so a return to the Drew-Bogaerts combo on the left side could work.
Reports have indicated that Drew has kept himself in shape, but he'll still probably need at least a little time to work himself back up to game speed in the minors before joining Boston.
This signing leaves Kendrys Morales as the last remaining free agent who received a qualifying offer last offseason.