Cheap Seats

What does Drew's deal mean? MLB 1, Agents 0

In one of the most pointless contract battles in recent memory, Stephen Drew has signed a contract to play for the Boston Red Sox for the rest of the season.

Drew rejected a one-year qualifying offer over the winter that would have paid him $14.1 million, refusing to accept a short-term contract. He'll get a pro-rated amount of that total, or about $10.4 million with three-quarters of the season left.

So... Drew didn't get more money or more years. And he knuckled under on the issue of if it's fair that teams who sign players who get qualifying offers are forced to give up draft pick compensation as part of the deal. Drew could have signed with any team after the June draft with any team in baseball and that club wouldn't have had to pony up a draft pick. He'd made it 90 percent of the way there only to surrender and come crawling back to Boston.

Why not just accept the qualifying offer, shut your mouth and play for $14.1 million if that's the route your going to go.

It would have bolstered agent Scott Boras' rally against compensatory draft picks to have Drew sign a multi-year deal with another team after the tie to the pick was cut. But re-upping with Boston right before the tie was broken makes it obvious that Boras had no other play and he was just full of hot air.

Personally, I like restrictions on player movement. It's ultimately the fans who are hurt when their favorite players move away. Giving them pause before they reject qualifying offers is one of the few tools management has to keep players in place -- other than passing out quarter-billion-dollar contracts.

  Comments