Red Sox, Stephen Drew agree
Willie Grace | 5/20/2014, 8:26 p.m. | Updated on 5/20/2014, 8:26 p.m.
Shortstop Stephen Drew, who rejected a $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Boston Red Sox after the World Series to pursue a multiyear deal elsewhere that never materialized, came to terms on an agreement with the Red Sox for a prorated version of Boston's original offer.
Drew was flying to Boston Tuesday, a baseball source said, and manager John Farrell said that he will undergo a full physical Wednesday. Assuming Drew passes, the deal will become official, one that will pay Drew roughly $10.2 million for the balance of the 2014 season, meaning he will be out approximately $4 million from what he would have gotten had he signed the original deal.
"We have the ability, provided all things work out, we've added a very good player to improve this team," Farrell said Tuesday. "That's the thing Ben (Cherington) and ownership have repeatedly shown: When a need exists, they'll do whatever is capable and whatever is available to improve the team.
"Stephen's return to us could very well do that. It will add stability to the left side of the infield."
Farrell estimated that Drew will need roughly 10-12 days and at least 25 at-bats on a minor-league rehabilitation assignment before he is ready to join the major-league club. Once he arrives, Farrell said, rookie Xander Bogaerts will be moved from shortstop to third base.
"We had a chance to sit and talk with Xander," Farrell said. "He's aware of everything that's been talked about and reported, and (we) just wanted to be a little bit ahead of things, as to what it might mean to his position going forward."
Farrell insisted that while Bogaerts is being moved to third base, where he played nine games in the regular season last year, then replaced Will Middlebrooks for the last eight games of the postseason, his future with the club is as a shortstop.
"We still see Xander as a shortstop," Farrell said. "That was explained clearly to Xander. This shouldn't take away in his mind what our long-term view of him is. Xander is still a very good-looking young player and a very good shortstop."
The immediate reaction to Drew's return in the Red Sox clubhouse was positive.
"I think Stephen helped us out a lot last year," David Ortiz said. "He's a great player, great teammate. Hopefully, he's bringing the same attitude that he had last year and helps us out to win some games."
Drew's acquisition comes with the Red Sox in the throes of a four-game losing streak, their longest since they lost eight straight at the end of the 2012 season. They scored a total of three runs last weekend while being swept by the Detroit Tigers, the team with the best record in the American League.
The deal also comes just four days after Middlebrooks fractured his left index finger after being struck by a line drive. No timetable has been determined for his return, although Farrell said he will need to go out on a rehab assignment when he's ready to resume playing