The Yankees, seeking insurance at second base and shortstop for Brian Roberts and Derek Jeter, respectively, added Stephen Drew from the Red Sox in the first deal between the AL East rivals since 1997, when the Yanks sent Tony Armas Jr. and Jim Mecir to Boston for Mike Stanley in an ill-fated swap that preceded the Red Sox acquiring Pedro Martinez for Armas and Carl Pavano that winter.
In this case, New York sent versatile infielder Kelly Johnson to Boston. Johnson’s currently on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring injury.
Stephen Drew, ss
Drew was a key part of Boston’s 2013 world title team, amassing an OPS of .776 and playing steady defense after a signing as a free agent in the offseason. He became a free agent again after 2013 and rejected Boston’s $12 million qualifying offer, only to wind up re-signing with Boston in May for a prorated deal that will pay him $10 million.
After just 39 games, Drew was spun off to the Yankees, part of Boston’s epic selloff on deadline day that included sending Jon Lester to Oakland and John Lackey to St. Louis.
Drew struggled at bat this season, but represents a defensive upgrade at short should the Yankees station Jeter at DH and at second base, where the often-injured Brian Roberts has committed a team-high 10 errors. In fact, after the deal, the Yankees designated Roberts for assignment and said Drew would be second, although he has not played there as a pro.
RED SOX ACQUIRE
Kelly Johnson, 2b/3b
Johnson, signed by the Yankees for his versatility, played third base, second base, first base and the outfield this season, struggled after showing some power in April. He could be an option at third for the Red Sox, who plan to move Xander Bogaerts back to short.
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