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A day after officially signing with the Red Sox, shortstop Stephen Drew said he thinks he'll be a good fit in Boston and is looking forward to playing alongside Dustin Pedroia.
"I think I'm a good fit in Boston," Drew said Thursday on a conference call. "It's going to be fun playing with Pedroia. I played against him, but to actually get to play with a good second baseman is going to be a really good opportunity for me."
Drew said when he discussed his future with his agent Scott Boras this offseason, he felt he wanted to play for a team that needed a veteran, every-day shortstop and he also wanted to play alongside a talented second baseman.
Boston had both.
Pedroia, who has known Drew since they played against each other at the collegiate level at Arizona State and Florida State, respectively, recently endorsed the team's signing of the shortstop, saying he'll add both offense and defense to the Red Sox.
"He's a good player," Pedroia told ESPNBoston.com last week. "He's going to be a big part of it. He's definitely motivated to have a great year and be ready to play."
Boras completely agrees.
"It was a very attractive opportunity because putting two players of that talent level together, up the middle on the field, I just think this is going to help the team offensively, defensively and it's really going to illustrate the talents of both these players where both are going to play at premiums this year," Boras said Thursday.
Drew's one-year deal with the Red Sox is similar to the one that third baseman Adrian Beltre (also a Boras client) signed with Boston in 2010. Beltre had an All-Star season with the Red Sox, posting a .321 average with 28 homers and 102 RBIs.
Following that one season with Boston, Beltre signed as a free agent with the Texas Rangers for five years and $80 million.
Boras believes that Drew, like Beltre, will shine in Boston.
"When you have a player like Stephen, his catch and release is so consistent as a player, the need for shortstops is so great, and then when you add in Stephen's swing plane and his offensive metrics of where he hits the ball at Fenway, we really felt that was a match made for what strengths Stephen has as a hitter and what the ballpark in Boston provides," Boras said.
"We fully expect a very successful season. Also, I think it's going to give the Red Sox and the Red Sox fans a chance to see a player that I'm not sure everyone really understands the talent level of Stephen Drew. I think after this year, everyone will think a lot differently about what type of player Stephen is and the impact he can have on a division contending team."
Drew became a free agent when the Oakland Athletics, who acquired the shortstop in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks, declined their half of a $10 million mutual option.
Beyond his one-year deal for 2013, Drew is unsure what his future holds in Boston.
"I'm going to come into this year and hopefully have a great year," he said. "I think my talent will be OK. Everybody that has talent, you've just got to stay healthy."
Drew suffered a severe injury in 2011 when he fractured his right ankle sliding into home against the Milwaukee Brewers on July 20. His rehab process was long and arduous, and he missed a total of 137 games.
"It was kind of unfortunate with my ankle injury (in 2011), I never really missed any long time in the major leagues except for this injury," he said.
When he returned last season, Drew played just 40 games for the Diamondbacks and was hitting .193 before he was traded to Oakland.
"The ankle's doing well," Drew said. "In the response of doing all the rehab stuff for about a year with that bad ankle injury, it's doing very well and I've been very pleased with it. I put a lot of hard work into it."