Drew, a career .266 hitter, suffered a major ankle injury last season that forced him to miss much of the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Prior to the injury, Drew was hitting .252 with five home runs and 21 doubles in 2011 and has posted a .196 average with two home runs since coming off the disabled list on June 27.
Still, Drew was a productive shortstop in Arizona from 2008-10, with a .277 average, .800 OPS, 48 homers and 106 doubles. Drew actually finished 26th in MVP voting in 2008 and posted a WAR of 2.7 (his career high is 3.7 in 2010).
|162 Game Avg.||162||680||611||82||163||37||11||15||70||7||3||58||118||.266||.328||.436||.765||96||267||5||2||4||5||5|
The A’s were previously linked to Drew, among others, as a possible solution at shortstop, but the A’s didn’t deal for an infielder at the deadline. Now, despite the return of Cliff Pennington from the DL, Drew joins the team today. Pennington is only hitting .192 in 2012, but the slick-fielding shortstop is a much cheaper option. Drew is in line for a $10M mutual contract option for the 2013 season with a $1.35M buyout. Pennington, on the other hand, is not even free agent eligible until 2016, and has made under $500,000 per year since he became a regular starter in Oakland in 2010.
Adam Rosales has played every infield position this season, with 79 innings at shortstop. Even though he has walked at an incredible rate this year and has the OBP to prove it (.359), Oakland doesn’t see the .235 hitter as the answer at shortstop.
But Drew is a proven hitter, especially in the gaps with his career 176 doubles and 52 triples. That’s a welcome addition to a team playing half their games in the Coliseum, especially when the shortstop position has a batting line of .191/.260/.304.
Whether or not the Diamondbacks’ asking price on Drew went down is unclear, but the A’s did not have to give up much to get the 29-year-old. Jamieson was hitting only .234 for the A’s low-A affiliate, the Burlington Bees.
Drew gives the A’s another option at shortstop, and the contract buyout leaves some flexibility after this season for Oakland to look at Drew’s value moving forward. But if anyone knows what the A’s are getting with Stephen Drew it’s Bob Melvin, who managed Drew in Arizona from 2006-09. If Melvin and the A’s get pre-ankle injury Stephen Drew, then Oakland just pulled off a great deal and the A’s may have found their shortstop for the coming years.
Plus, in two postseason series in 2007, Drew hit .387 and slugged .677 with two long balls and four runs batted in. So there’s that.