Over 70 games and 165 plate appearances as part of the Washington Nationals’ bench in 2016, Stephen Drew put up a .266/.339/.524 line with 11 doubles and eight homers in a 0.7 fWAR campaign.
Drew, 33, missed time with an inner ear issue, but returned to the lineup in early September after 40 games on the DL, putting up a .275/.388/.425 line over 49 PAs down the stretch for the NL East division winners.
Signed to a 1-year/$3M last December, Drew became a free agent again this winter.
Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes wrote last week that the Nationals would like to bring the veteran infielder back to the nation’s capital for another run in 2017, but as she noted, they may have competition since, “[o]ther teams are considering Drew as an everyday option, according to a person familiar with the situation.”
Boston Globe columnist Nick Cafardo wrote this weekend that the Los Angeles Angels and LA Dodgers are two teams, “looking for a full-time second baseman,” this winter, “... and Drew could be a good fit at either spot,” after he, “reinvented himself last season with the Nationals as a part-time player.”
Should Drew sign elsewhere this winter, the Nationals have options including Wilmer Difo, a switch-hitting infielder, who could take over in a utility/bench role, and they have a left-handed bat in Clint Robinson, but they might, as the WaPost’s Janes noted, need to find some more pop off the bench.
In writing about the Washington Nationals’ rumored intentions to blow up the Hot Stove this winter, New York Post writer Joel Sherman reported last week that an AL executive, discussing the possibility of Mike Rizzo and Co. making a play for Chicago White Sox’ left-hander Chris Sale, told him that the Nats, “have let teams know that [Trea] Turner is off the table, but that they are open on a lot of different things.”
FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal wrote this morning, in listing six “can’t touch” players that might make a deal for Sale possible, that while it’s, “... virtually impossible to imagine the Nationals parting with Turner... they could entice the White Sox with others from their deep, talented system.”
Want Chris Sale? Trade one of these untouchables. Column:... https://t.co/lK0gyIpsth— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 28, 2016
What would such an offer look like? “Start with right-handers Reynaldo Lopez and Erick Fedde and outfielder Victor Robles, and take it from there,” Rosenthal writes.
Over at ESPN.com, Buster Olney wrote today about what it might take to get Sale from Chicago, noting that though things have changed since this past summer, when, “... the White Sox suggested... that Boston would have to give up Mookie Betts, Yoan Moncada and more for Sale,” it’s still going to hurt whatever team wants to acquire the lefty.
Olney lists the Dodgers, Cardinals, Rangers, Nationals and Astros as teams that could give the White Sox what they want and pry Sale away, but adds, “It's hard to imagine St. Louis could get Sale without including Alex Reyes, and perhaps any Houston deal for Sale would have to involve Alex Bregman.”
Could the Nationals match what other teams have to offer (without giving up the likes of Turner, or Lucas Giolito)?
Olney goes on to list all the trades GM Mike Rizzo and Co. in the Nationals’ front office have made over the years and suggest that “based on the track record... there would be a good chance that the deal would work out.”