Jon Heyman reports that the Red Sox have reached an agreement with shortstop Stephen Drew on a one-year deal for $9.5 million.
Thanks in part to recovery from an ankle injury Drew hit just .223/.309/.348 in 327 plate appearances this past season between the D’Backs and A’s, but he drew interest from several teams, including Tigers, Yankees and Athletics. But the Red Sox have him and, as Heyman notes, will use him as a stopgap between now and the time when either Jose Iglesias or Xander Bogaerts are ready.
It’s been a busy winter so far for the Red Sox, who, in addition to Drew, have signed Shane Victorino, Ryan Dempster, David Ross and Mike Napoli.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.
Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.
Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.