By Jeff Louderback
The Red Sox announced they had reached a one-year, $9.5 million deal (that also includes an additional $500,000 in performance incentives) with Drew on December 17. The 29-year-old old younger brother of former Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew was introduced at a press conference on Thursday.
Drew, who will turn 30 in March, is reportedly fully recovered from a ghastly ankle injury he suffered in 2011. The setback limited him to a slash line of .252/.396/.713 with five home runs and 45 RBI in 354 plate appearances in 2011 and .223/.348/.657 with seven home runs and 28 RBI in 327 plate appearances between Arizona and Oakland in 2012.
Before the injury, Drew was considered a solid defensive shortstop and the left-handed hitter had 15 home runs, 61 RBI, 33 doubles, 12 triples and a slash line of .278/.458/.810 in 633 plate appearances for the Diamondbacks in 2010. He was durable in his first four full seasons in Arizona playing in 150, 152, 135 and 151 games respectively.
Jose Iglesias remains an intriguing shortstop prospect in the Red Sox farm system because of his exceptional defense, but he is still just 22 and can benefit from working on improving his bat at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Xander Bogaerts, who is one of the top prospects in baseball, is 20 and will likely open the 2013 campaign at Double-A Portland. He projects as a middle of the order bat in the majors, but as his body grows bigger and stronger he could be moved to another position.
Holt is adequate on defense and has a .317 batting average and a .808 OPS in four minor league seasons. Holt has little power but plus speed and versatility.
When they entered the offseason, the Red Sox insisted they would bolster their depth. They have done that at shortstop by signing Drew to a one-year deal, acquiring Holt and allowing Iglesias and Bogaerts more time to develop in the minors.