Stephen Drew is on the Atlanta Braves radar not as a shortstop, but instead as a second baseman. This according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, who writes that “Drew has emerged as a potential second base possibility for the Braves.”
As Heyman also points out, Drew is a Georgia-native—playing high school baseball in Valdosta before going to Florida State University.
The Braves are likely looking to fill the gap at second as a result of the trading of Tommy La Stella and their number four international signing bonus slot to the Chicago Cubs earlier, in return for Arodys Vizcaino and the Cubs two, three, and four international bonus slots.
Following his aiding of the Boston Red Sox winning their 2013 World Series championship, Drew was a free agent until May when the Red Sox re-signed him for the rest of 2014 at $10.1 million. This was as a result of the draft pick compensation attached to Drew, which was due to the Scott Boras client rejecting the $14.1 million dollar qualifying offer that the Red Sox extended to him. Drew was then a part of the first Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees trade since 1997, where he played 274 innings at second—the first time in his Major League career he played any other position besides shortstop.
However, the 31-year old is coming off of what is likely to be the worst season of his career, batting to the tune of a .162/.237/.299 slash line over 300 plate appearances. A wOBA of .238 and wRC+ of 44 also point to that notion, despite it being a very shortened season. The left handed hitter also has seen a rise in his K% since 2009, as it now stands at 25%—while his BB% has done the opposite, as it has decreased since 2012 to its current 9% stature.
It might just be that the former first-rounder needs a change in scenery, and a Georgia homecoming might just be the perfect change.