Well, I guess the reports from Susan Slusser a couple weeks back that Stephen Drew would eventually sign a 1 year deal with a player option turned out not to be true. Ken Rosenthal reported first today that Drew had agreed to terms with the Boston Red Sox on a 1 year contract worth $9.5 million with an additional $500K in performance bonuses. So essentially Drew signed for exactly what he would have gotten had the A’s picked up his option. He and agent Scott Boras had their sights set on a number, and they got it. It just so happened that it was the Red Sox that were willing to meet that number and not the Oakland Athletics.
Initially I wasn’t terribly upset to see Stephen Drew go, because it seemed to open the door for the A’s to sign Hiroyuki Nakajima from Japan. Well Susan Slusser threw a big giant wet blanket on that one shortly after the news that Drew was heading to Boston. Slusser reported from an industry source that the A’s were likely to look for a SS via trade than in the free agent market. My guess here is that Nakajima wants a multi year deal, and the A’s aren’t willing to go there. They believe their shortstop of the future Addison Russell must be closer to ready than everyone else, otherwise I don’t see the logic in flatly avoiding a multi year deal.
At this point the A’s might find themselves in a situation where they have to scrape the bottom of the barrell because there are no other options. So we revisit the likes of Alex Gonzalez, or explore trade options like Asdrubal Cabrera (who may come with a high price tag), or Jhonny Peralta (who is only good enough to represent a last resort acquisition), or perhaps the likes of Jed Lowrie (highly valued by the Astros, who may be hesitant to trade within their new divison, and he’s injury prone), or even Dee Gordon (who just might not be that good after all).
It’s really frustrating to see the A’s dragging their feet here as the window for success is clearly wide open. They need to work to upgrade this team, and if they don’t they’re either delusional that there are no flaws or they simply aren’t willing to build on last year’s success. It’s been a tough off season for the A’s fans, seeing many important pieces from their 2012 run depart (Jonny Gomes, Brandon McCarthy, Stephen Drew) has been difficult. The hope now is that Billy Beane has some diabolical master plan that will make us all forget this period of uncertainty, if not we may see the A’s a little bit in over their heads.