What the Stephen Drew Signing Means to the Red Sox

Jonathan CullenSenior Writer IDecember 17, 2012

The Sox certainly paid Drew big money to come to Boston.
The Sox certainly paid Drew big money to come to Boston.Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

There was a big admission by the Boston Red Sox today in signing Stephen Drew, according to this report from SI.com's Jon Heyman.

The Sox are admitting that they saw the same things that the fans saw in Jose Iglesias last summer and had the same concerns about handing him the starting shortstop job next season.

For Iglesias, he can't feel confident about his future with the team. As a player that signed a major league contract four years ago as a teenager, the Red Sox made a huge four-year commitment to Iglesias worth over $14 million.

So far Boston has little to show for their investment in Iglesias.

It's just unfortunate that the Sox had to commit $9.5 million to sign Drew, according to this tweet from Heyman. Not bad work for a guy who hit .223 between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Oakland A's last season.

I wrote about a month ago here that the Red Sox and Drew were a good match for each other. Little did I know that Bern Cherington was going to continue his curious habit of throwing premium money at mid-level players.

$9.5 million for Drew? Man, that Scott Boras is something. I'm fine with bringing in Drew and making Iglesias earn the position, but not at almost $10 million with performance incentives, according to this tweet from ESPN's Buster Olney.

The Red Sox have now committed potentially $54 million to the group of Shane Victorino, Ryan Dempster, Stephen Drew, Jonny Gomes and Mike Napoli for next season.

$54 million that could have been invested in the pitching staff instead. It's not that any of the new players are bad, it is simply that the Sox have over-payed for every single player, limiting the payroll flexibility moving forward.

Boston.com's Peter Abraham speculates in this tweet that the Sox are having to over pay to convince free agents to come to Boston this year.

If that is truly the case, it's not difficult to see where the fallout from the end of the 2011 season, Terry Francona and Theo Epstein leaving, the disaster that was last season and the unfortunate Bobby Valentine era would all effect what free agents think of Boston.  

Boston's reputation around the game isn't as good as it used to be, that much is clear. Other players and teams are skeptical about the Sox' plan moving forward.

The best thing to happen for the Sox would be for Iglesias to come to camp, earn the job and hit enough to be in the lineup every day. If he does that, the Sox could move Drew to a number of teams in need of a starting SS.

If Iglesias doesn't hit, Drew will simply be buying the Sox a year until Xander Bogaerts is ready to take over in 2014.

The Red Sox' curious offseason continues on.

Information used from the Baseball Reference website.