In listing the reasons why Stephen Drew is still out there on the free agent market, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News cited an official with one team that the shortstop’s medicals “are raising some concerns.” Well, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com hears otherwise:
Drew underwent surgery to repair a fractured ankle in 2011 and wasn’t quite himself upon returning in 2012, but he rebounded with the Red Sox last season by hitting .253/.333/.443 with 13 home runs and 67 RBI over 124 games while playing excellent defense. The 30-year-old missed some time around the All-Star break with a hamstring injury, but he finished the regular season strong before struggling offensively in the playoffs.
Even if Drew is “perfectly healthy,” it’s not too difficult to understand why he’s still looking for a home, as he’s attached to draft pick compensation and few teams are willing to make a costly upgrade at shortstop at this stage of the winter. On on a related note, Martino hears that the Red Sox and Mets are the “only known clubs” to be engaged with Drew and his agent Scott Boras. He would likely have to settle for a one-year deal to return to Boston and the Mets appear content waiting out the market.
Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz was childhood friends with Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, so it was expected when Diaz took time away from the team on Monday to visit Fernandez’s family in Miami. They grew up on the same street in Cuba and played for the same youth baseball team and both would ultimately wind up playing Major League Baseball in the United States.
In the bottom of the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Reds, Diaz hit a 2-1 Robert Stephenson fastball out to left-center field for a no-doubt grand slam. Teammate Yadier Molina gave Diaz a tight hug as he crossed home plate.
Before Tuesday’s game, Diaz said that the best way to honor Fernandez was to play with his passion, as MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Diaz said, “I only play for [Fernandez’s] family right now.”
Here’s the video.
The Red Sox would have clinched the AL East if one of two things happened on Tuesday night: the Red Sox themselves beat the Yankees, or the Orioles defeated the Blue Jays. Neither happened.
The Jays soundly took down the Orioles 5-1 behind six strong innings from Aaron Sanchez. Josh Donaldson went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run and a pair of walks and leadoff batter Ezequiel Carrera went 2-for-3 with a solo homer, an RBI single, a walk, and three runs scored.
Meanwhile, at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees outlasted the Red Sox for a 6-4 win, responding to both two-run innings the Sox had in the sixth and seventh with a run in the sixth and two in the seventh. Gary Sanchez hit his 20th homer of the season. Didi Gregorius and Tyler Austin also contributed dingers. Starter Luis Cessa pitched well, limiting the Sox to two runs over six innings on five hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Red Sox starter David Price struggled, yielding six runs in 6 1/3 innings. Yankees reliever Tyler Clippard got into trouble in the ninth inning but was able to wiggle out of trouble to finish out the game.
Once again, the Red Sox will be able to clinch the AL East on Wednesday with a win over the Yankees or a Blue Jays loss to the Orioles.