Stephen Drew wants opt-out after one year

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Adam Rubin of ESPN New York was told by a source that agent Scott Boras is seeking a multi-year contract for Stephen Drew which includes an opt-out clause after the first season.

Boras has had a hard enough time finding a team who is willing to surrender a draft pick (and the corresponding draft pool money) in order to sign Drew, so he’s probably pushing his luck here. Not surprisingly, Rubin hears that such a scenario is a “deal-breaker” for the Mets, though they would consider a two- or three-year deal without an out-clause.

The Red Sox haven’t completely closed the door on re-signing Drew and the idea of him leaving after one year could make sense there, since he would mostly be seen as a stopgap option at shortstop anyway. Of course, if he struggles or gets hurt this season, the Red Sox would likely be stuck with him for 2015. And that would be less than ideal.

It’s probably too late in the winter to demand such things, but something will have to give soon. We’re just a week away from pitchers and catchers reporting for most teams.

Mariners claim Kaleb Cowart off waivers from Angels

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The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.

Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field.  He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.

Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.