The Boston Red Sox today signed shortstop Stephen Drew to a one-year contract through the 2013 season. A first-round selection of the Diamondbacks in the 2004 draft, Drew has appeared in 812 career Major League games over the last seven seasons with Arizona (2006-12) and Oakland (2012).
Drew, 29, is one of three players to have three seasons with at least 20 doubles, 10 triples and 10 home runs since 2008, along with current Red Sox Shane Victorino and Toronto’s Jose Reyes. He ranks fourth among all Major League shortstops over the last five seasons with a .441 slugging percentage and fifth with a .770 OPS (min. 1,500 plate appearances).
He is a .265 career hitter (814-for-3,069) with 181 doubles, 52 triples, 77 home runs, 349 RBI, 414 runs, 293 walks, and 34 stolen bases. The left-handed hitter has finished with the second-most triples in the National League on three occasions and his 41 triples since 2008 rank sixth in the majors. His 52 career triples are an Arizona franchise record.
All 792 of his career appearances in the field have come at shortstop and his .978 fielding percentage is seventh-best among active shortstops with at least 650 games played. His 72 errors are third-fewest among active shortstops with at least 3,000 total chances.
Drew has hit at a .417 clip (10-for-24) in his career as a pinch-hitter, the third-best mark among all Major Leaguers with 25 plate appearances in the pinch since 2006.
He is the younger brother of former Red Sox outfielder and 14-year Major League veteran J.D. Drew. It will mark the 11th time a set of brothers have both played for the Red Sox, the last being Pedro and Ramon Martinez. The younger Drew will wear No. 7, just as J.D. did with the Red Sox. His older brother Tim also pitched for parts of five seasons in the majors.
After spending his entire professional career with Arizona, Drew was traded to Oakland on August 20 and started 39 of the A’s last 41 games of the season en route to the team winning the American League West title. He batted .250 (38-for-152) with five home runs and 16 RBI with Oakland, including a .315 mark (17-for-54) over his final 13 games.
Drew hit a combined .223 (64-for-287) with 13 doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 28 RBI, 38 runs and 37 walks in 79 games overall in 2012 after missing the first 73 games of the season while recovering from July 2011 surgery on a fractured right ankle. He was 4-for-6 (.667) with seven RBI with the bases loaded and his .383 average (18-for-47) in 11 games against American League East opponents was tops among all Major Leaguers with at least 50 plate appearances against that division last year.
In 2008, Drew became the third shortstop in Major League history to collect at least 40 doubles (44), 10 triples (11) and 20 home runs (21) in a season, joining Nomar Garciaparra (Boston, 1997) and Hall of Famer Robin Yount (Milwaukee, 1980 and 1982). He was named the D-backs’ Player of the Year by the Arizona chapter of the BBWAA that season and hit for the cycle on September 1, 2008, the third D-backs player ever to accomplish the feat.
His teams have reached the postseason twice and he started at shortstop in all seven of the Diamondbacks playoff games during the 2007 NLDS and NLCS, and all five of the A’s 2012 ALDS contests. Drew has hit safely in all but two of his 12 career postseason games, batting .320 (16-for-50) with two home runs and five RBI, including a .500 clip (7-for-14) with two home runs and four RBI in the D-backs three-game sweep of the Cubs in the 2007 NLDS.
With the signing, the Red Sox 40-man roster is now at 40.