Stephen Drew's market is finally starting to warm up

Posted by Scott Wuerz on February 5, 2014 

A week before spring training is set to officially start with the report of pitchers and catchers, it looks like free agent shortstop Stephen Drew might finally be gaining some traction toward a new contract.

Reports out of New York indicate that he may have two-year deals on the table from both the Boston Red Sox and the New York Mets.

While those offers are at least something, I'm sure it's not what Drew was expecting given that his agent was spouting off that he wanted -- and deserved -- a nine-figure contract this winter.

Scott Boras is pretty good at artificially propping up a free agent's value with his bluster. But this time he likely scared off potential suitors, including the St. Louis Cardinals, despite the fact that he was widely considered to be the best shortstop available through free agency.

Combine Drew's salary demands with his injury history and the fact that he's on the wrong side of 30 and it's a bad situation. Throw in that, because Boston offered him a tender, Drew was tied to a draft pick and it's easy to see why the Redbirds made the unexpected move of signing Jhonny Peralta instead.

The two-year deals seem like they might be the worst possible scenario for Drew.

If he would have accepted the Boston one-year tender he would have got $14 million and would have had another chance at free agency next off season. Then, with a good year he might have got a more lucrative multi-year contract. But if he signs a two-year deal he'll be 33 before the start of his first post-contract season. And the odds a shortstop is going to get a lengthy contract that age are slim.

Matt Holliday was interviewed on Sirus/XM radio yesterday and he'd said it's a top priority of players to make sure that the link between a one-year tender and a draft pick is eliminated in the next collective bargaining agreement between players and ownership. But that deal runs through 2016, so even that change isn't likely to help Drew out of his current mess.

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