Stephen Drew critical of free agent compensation rule

Stephen Drew played the 2013 season for the Red Sox on a one-year, $9.5 million deal.
Stephen Drew played the 2013 season for the Red Sox on a one-year, $9.5 million deal. –The Boston Globe

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Stephen Drew, the shortstop on the Red Sox’ 2013 World Series championship team, is working out on his own at a training camp run by his agent as he waits to be signed for the 2014 season.

According to a CBS Sports report, Drew is practicing at the Boras Sports Training Institute on the campus of St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, Fla. He remains unsigned after rejecting the Red Sox’ $14.1 million qualifying offer and entering free agency after the 2013 season.

One reason it has taken so long for his agent, Scott Boras, to secure a new deal is any team that signs him must give the Red Sox a draft pick. Drew was critical of the rule requiring draft compensation for a team that signs a free agent who has been given a qualifying offer.


“You hate to say it, but it really messes up free agency for guys who worked hard,’’ Drew told CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. “A lot of people don’t want to give up that first-round pick, and that’s what it boils down to. It’s unusual. I understand draft picks, but at the same time, you have a guy who’s proven as very good on defense and a top five shortstop if you look at it.’’

Heyman also reports six teams have interest in Drew, including the Red Sox, although the Globe’s Peter Abraham reported Thursday that a Red Sox senior official said it was unlikely the team would bring Drew back and general manager Ben Cherington said the team was focusing on the players in camp now. The other possible landing spots for Drew, according to Heyman, are the Blue Jays, Mets, Yankees, Pirates and A’s.

Drew made $9.5 million on a one-year deal last season. None of the 22 players who were given qualifying offers that would guarantee them a $14.1 million deal for 2014 accepted.

“Our union has been really good. But I think we really have to look at this,’’ Drew said. “Is this really good for free agency? Our players need to sit back and look at it and see what we need to do about it.’’

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