MLB Rumors: Detroit Tigers Pursuing Free Agent Stephen Drew

By Chris Katje

The Detroit Tigers have been tossed into the mix of MLB teams interested in Stephen Drew’s services for the 2013 season. Drew played part of the season with the Oakland Athletics in 2012. The Athletics declined a $10 million option and several teams are now interested in the shortstop.

Drew played baseball at Florida State University. The younger brother of MLB player J.D. Drew, Stephen was drafted in the first round of the 2004 MLB Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. After playing with the Diamondbacks from 2006 to 2012, Drew was traded to the A’s for Sean Jamieson, a minor league shortstop. The A’s recently declined a $10 million salary option to keep Stephen in Oakland for 2013.

Other teams interested in Drew include the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. The Tigers would trade away Jhonny Peralta if they sign Drew to a multiple year deal. Peralta is scheduled to make $6 million in 2013. Many see Drew as an offensive and defensive upgrade to Peralta at the shortstop position. A deal by the Tigers would see Drew earnings close to $10 million a season. The A’s shortstop earned $7.75 million last season. Drew is represented by MLB super agent Scott Boras, who has a working relationship with the Tigers through several other clients, including Prince Fielder.

Drew is a career .265 hitter, with 349 RBIs and 77 home runs in 812 major league games. Last season, Drew hit .223 in 79 games. The shortstop ended the season with 7 home runs and 28 RBIs.

Drew seems to be on paper a slight upgrade to Peralta, but not for $10 million a season. The Tigers lost the World Series last year, but they still made it to that point, outlasting every other MLB team but one. The team has already brought in free agent outfielder Torii Hunter and gets Victor Martinez back. Unless a free agent move involves pitching help, the Tigers should stand pat.

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