Athletics Rumors: It's a Waiting Game With Stephen Drew

Stephen Drew played solidly after being traded to the Oakland Athletics this past summer.  He struggled with Arizona after returning from injury, but the change of scenery must have done him well. Drew's performance helped lead the A's to an American League West Championship.

Drew is now a free agent, and the A's are allowing him to test the market.  According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the A's can sit and wait to see if Drew comes back to them looking for a deal.  The shortstop market is always thin, so Drew will certainly draw interest, but his productivity is in question.  Can he return to form and produce at a high level?

That's what the A's are questioning as well.  They have expressed interest in bringing Drew back, but they won't do it at an unreasonable price.  Olney says the A's will search for options elsewhere, but they can adjust if Drew comes back.

Drew fractured his ankle while sliding into home in the middle of the 2011 season.  He underwent surgery that year and rehabbed, but his recovery took longer than expected.  When Drew returned to the Diamondbacks, he was not quite as good as he had been.  He hit just .193 with the DBacks in 40 games this past season.  After the trade to Oakland, he hit .250/.326/.382.

Drew appears to be back to 100% now, but he will be entering his eighth MLB season next year, and he has yet to develop into the player many thought he would.  He plays solid defense, but has been light-hitting throughout his career.  He made $7.75 million last season and was due $10 million if the A's had picked up his 2013 option.  He will not get anywhere close to that with whatever team he signs with.

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