Because he received a qualifying offer from the Red Sox and signing him will require the forfeiture of a top draft pick, there was some thought that free agent shortstop Stephen Drew might struggle to attract multiple lucrative offers on the open market this offseason. But that apparently won’t be the case.
A source told Rob Bradford of WEEI on Saturday that “a bunch of teams (are) moving quick” on Drew, who inked a one-year, $9.5 million deal with Boston last winter and is now looking to cash in big.
The 30-year-old former first-round pick hit .253/.333/.443 with 13 home runs and 67 RBI in 124 games this summer for the World Series champs while playing his usual brand of steady defense at short.
The other shortstops on the market this winter: Jhonny Peralta, Robert Andino, Clint Barmes, Willie Bloomquist, Jamey Carroll, Alexi Casilla, Luis Cruz, Rafael Furcal, Alex Gonzalez, Nick Green, Brendan Harris, Cesar Izturis, Munenori Kawasaki, John McDonald, Cody Ransom and Brendan Ryan.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said last week on WEEI that he hopes Drew returns.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.
The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.
Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.
President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.