Atlanta Braves interested in signing Stephen Drew?

According to Jon Heyman at CBS Sports the Atlanta Braves are interested in signing free agent infielder Stephen Drew.

Drew, a Georgia native who is coming off the worst year of his career, has never played a full season at second base. In fact, the only began playing second base last season with the New York Yankees.

He made 31 appearances at second in 2014 hitting just 162/.237/.299. He’s a good defender and played for the 2013 World Champion Boston Red Sox hitting .253/.333/.443 with 13 home runs and 67 RBI.

Jose Peraza. Getty Images.
Jose Peraza. Getty Images.

Essentially Drew, who will be 32 in March, would be a stopgap for the Braves who do have prospect Jose Peraza waiting in the wings. Peraza is only 20 years old however, and needs a bit more time to develop and hone his skills.

Of course the Braves are not the only team Drew has been linked to. The Oakland A’s also need a middle infielder and so do the New York Mets.

However, it appears more likely that he’ll end up in Atlanta but on the eve of MLB’s annual winter meetings, surprises can and probably will happen.

The Braves are in the process of re-tooling in order to stay competitive through 2017 when their new ballpark is scheduled to open but of course, they are also thinking about the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

Braves president of baseball operations John Hart said,

“I wouldn’t be telling you the truth if I said we’re not taking a look at ’17. But we haven’t made a move yet that would give anybody any reason to think that we’re even considering doing a strip-down (rebuild).”

David O’Brien at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution agrees that Hart is not rebuilding the team as he has,

“signed players to long contracts last year including first baseman Freddie Freeman, defensive-whiz shortstop Andrelton Simmons, All-Star pitcher Julio Teheran and premier closer Craig Kimbrel.”

O’Brien also says that aside from second base the Braves are looking at getting another starter and possibly a backup catcher. According to Hart, if they can fill those holes by spring the Braves could easily be competitive. He said,

“Who’s to say this can’t be something like an 88-win club? Maybe the Nationals are going to be the favorite (in the NL East). But the last time I looked, there were a couple of wild-card teams in the World Series.”

We’ll have to wait and see but it’s true. There’s so much parity in the league now that wild-card teams obviously have a legitimate chance to make a statement in the postseason.

Once the Braves fill the positions needed they will have a team that could compete for a wild-card spot and who knows where that could lead.

You can expect them to be active during the Winter Meetings that officially begin Monday in San Diego.

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