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Big League Stew

Red Sox sign Stephen Drew, are still negotiating with Mike Napoli

Big League Stew

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Pending a physical, the Boston Red Sox and Stephen Drew have agreed to a one-year, $9.5 million contract, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports first reported Monday. Boston will play Drew at shortstop, which allows prospects Jose Iglesias and Xander Bogaerts (is his not the best name ever?) to grow in the minor leagues.

Drew hit .223/.309/.348 with seven homers in 327 plate appearances with the Diamondbacks and Athletics after recovering from a nasty ankle injury in 2011. He has been average, or a little below average, at his position on defense. The Detroit Tigers reportedly were interested in Drew, but could not agree (obviously) with agent Scott Boras on a multi-year deal.

Boston's deal for free-agent slugger Mike Napoli also depended on a physical, which he apparently failed. Napoli and the Red Sox had agreed on a three-year, $39 million deal two weeks ago and expected him to play first base. The Red Sox remain willing to sign Napoli to a shorter deal, Will Carroll of Sports Illustrated has said.

The Red Sox are having a very busy offseason, putting about $160 million into payroll. The new guys include Napoli and Drew (with Napoli's dollar amount subject to change), along with outfielder Shane Victorino, right-hander Ryan Dempster, outfielder Jonny Gomes, catcher David Ross, reliever Koji Uehara and the return of DH David Ortiz.

Alex Speier of WEII radio analyzes what all of these additions mean to the Red Sox getting back into contention. My first impression is, they're spending a lot of money and won't get back the return they hope.

But they will have another Drew.

Once the 2013 season begins, the Red Sox will have the pleasure of employing another of the three baseball-playing Drew brothers. Stephen's brother J.D. Drew won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2007 and retired (apparently) a Red Sock after the 2011 season. Tim Drew, a pitcher in parts of five big-league seasons, hasn't been in the majors since 2004. The Red Sox should frivolously sign Tim Drew to a one-day contract and bring him and J.D. back in September so that all three can say they played on the same major-league team.

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