The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have made a deal for the first time in almost two decades as Stephen Drew is headed to the Bronx with Kelly Johnson headed to Boston. The Yankees coveted Drew heading into this past offseason but weren’t able to get a deal done due to Drew’s asking price and the fact they would have to surrender a draft pick to the Red Sox. Drew signed with the Red Sox in May. The Yankees turned their attention to Johnson and signed him to play the role with Brendan Ryan as insurance at shortstop, third base and second base. Both Drew and Johnson struggled this year.
Drew will act as insurance for Brian Roberts at second base most likely while also giving the team offensive insurance in case Derek Jeter goes down. This is hardly the blockbuster that Yankees’ fans were hoping for especially with a fake Marlon Byrd rumor grabbing everyone’s attention earlier in the day. However, Drew should be a decent fit in the Bronx who should have fun taking aim at the right field porch with his lefty swing.
The Yankees will get a career .261/.326/.431 hitter with 94 home runs and hope he can contribute to a Yankees’ lineup that has been somewhat awful this season. Johnson was hitting just .219/.304/.373 this season with six home runs which is well off of his career slash line of .251/.333/.424. Johnson struggled as he was shuffled all over the infield getting time at third, first, second and the outfield.
This is a swap of two struggling infielders but the Yankees at least get a capable shortstop who could be a potential replacement for Jeter next season and who has some upside considering how he didn’t get a Spring Training and was essentially thrust into games. The Yankees have to hope Drew heats up as the season wears on.