A's talking to Drew about new contract; SS could be popular in weak market

The Oakland A's are talking to free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew about a new contract, though it isn't known what their chances to sign him might be considering he will be free to sign with any team.

The A's are said by a source familiar with their thinking to be "interested in retaining Drew,'' who played well since a trade from Arizona. He hit .250 with five home runs and 16 RBI for the resurgent A's. He batted .223 overall after starting slowly with the Diamondbacks following his return following ankle surgery.

Oakland is a desirable spot considering their excellent season with a young team. Of course, free agents such as Drew will have other opportunities, but the A's could hold extra allure.

The list of free-agent shortstops is not a strong one. Tampa and Toronto, if it can deal Yunel Escobar, are among other teams that could seek a shortstop. The Tigers just picked up shortstop Jhonny Peralta's reasonable $6-million option but could be interested in improving its infield range.

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