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Yankees, Red Sox make first trade since 1997, send Stephen Drew to the Bronx

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Stephen Drew is going to New York in the first between the Red Sox and Yankees since 1997. (Getty Images)

Stephen Drew is headed to the New York Yankees where he'll shift to second base and backup the retiring Derek Jeter at shortstop for the rest of the season. But that's not even the most interesting part of the trade the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox struck Thursday shortly before MLB's non-waiver trade deadline.

The Yankees and the Red Sox, baseball's biggest rivals, made a trade together. That's headline material, regardless of the players involved. 

That hasn't happened since 1997, when the Red Sox sent Randy Brown and Mike Stanley to New York for Tony Armas and Jim Mecir. Both the Red Sox and the Yankees had traded with every other team in MLB since then, but not each other, according to some wonderful digging by the folks at Cut4.

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Kelly Johnson, you're headed to Boston. (AP)

Kelly Johnson, you're headed to Boston. (AP)

The Yankees send utilityman Kelly Johnson to the Red Sox, who were the biggest dealers on trade-deadline day. Johnson for Drew ranks low on the list of Boston trades, but the rarity of a Red Sox-Yankees swap makes it much more interesting. 

Drew didn't play the first few months of the season, holding out as a free agent, then he signed a one-year deal to return to the Red Sox for about $10 million. He hasn't been very productive, though, hitting .176/.255/.328 with four homers and 11 RBIs. The Yankees will pay almost all of the $5 million owed to Drew, according to Sean McAdam of CSN New England.

Drew has never played second base, so that could get interesting, but Brian Roberts hasn't produced there for the Yankees. Might as well try Drew.

He's now part of a rebuilt-through-trades infield that includes Chase Headley and Martin Prado, who was also acquired by the Yankees in a trade Thursday from the Diamondbacks. Prado can play second and third, but also in the outfield, if necessary.

One last interesting note on this deal: The Red Sox and Yankees are both off Thursday, but play each other in a three-game series starting Friday.

Makes the travel for the traded players a little easier.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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