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Monday, January 6, 2014

MLB source says Stephen Drew is healthy despite recent reports

By on 1/06/2014 07:00:00 PM

Although rumors about the health of free agent shortstop Stephen Drew have not become widely known, some say that health is one main reason that Drew has not received many offers. NBC Sports' Rotoworld said that New York Daily News recently reported that officials of some teams were concerned about Drew's medical records. Rotoworld, though, cites Rob Bradford of WEEI in Boston as having spoken with an MLB source, who says that Drew is "perfectly healthy."

 Rotoworld had this to say on January 6:
"This refutes a recent report from... New York Daily News, who was told by an official with one team who expressed early interest in Drew that his medicals were raising some concerns. However, it appears that draft pick compensation and the lack of teams looking for a shortstop might be bigger issues with his market right now."
Drew is CBS's #12 free agent position player and second-highest-rated player still available. The team that signs him will have to give up a first-round draft pick (or second-round if that pick is in the top 10) because Drew received the $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Boston Red Sox. Obviously, Boston could re-sign Drew without giving up a draft pick. The pending loss of that draft pick coupled with Drew's and agent Scott Borus's demands for a long-term deal are most likely the most inhibiting factors in Drew's finding a job.

Health-wise, Drew did have ankle surgery July of 2012 while with Oakland, but he had no issues with that ankle in 2013 with Boston. He missed seven games for a concussion to start the 2013 season and spent 22 days on the disabled list from June 28 to July 20 due to mild thigh strain. He missed only two other games with minor back soreness, and those occurred in May. He had no other injuries reported according to Baseball Prospectus. These indications appear to support Rotoworld and Bradford's source rather than New York Daily News'.

Currently, the New York Mets seem to have the best chance of landing Drew as they have maintained contact with him and Borus in early January. Some rumors had Drew going to the Yankees, but Brain Cashman has said that he has no interest in bringing Drew to his team. Drew could still return to Boston but not likely with that long-term deal he seeks.

Drew hit .253/.333/.453 with 13 HR and 67 RBI while scoring 57 runs for the World Champion Red Sox in 2013.

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