The Cardinals chance to improve up the middle without trading away valuable pieces seems to have passed.
According to multiple reports, the Red Sox have signed former Arizona and Oakland shortstop Stephen Drew to a one-year contract for $9.5 million.
That's a steep price to pay for a guy who has been greatly diminished by injuries over the past couple of seasons. Once thought of as a plus bat for a shortstop, drew has become a .230s hitter with little power. But he's still good with the glove and it would have been a worthwhile gamble for the Redbirds to take a shot with him if Drew could have been had for about half of what he got.
It's difficult to imagine the team paying Drew a third more than it will pay starting shortstop Rafael Furcal who also had his share of injury problems in recent history. If Furcal and Drew were both healthy, the Cardinals would have had to move one of them to second base, a move that likely would have made the loser in the shortstop derby unhappy. But imagine how disgruntled Furcal would be if the Cardinals moved him AND paid his replacement more. I'm not sure he could have been kept on the team in those circumstances.