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Red Sox and Shortstop Stephen Drew Agree To a One-Year Contract

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BOSTON, MA-The Boston Red Sox today agreed with shortstop Stephen Drew on a one-year contract through the 2014 season. Drew takes the 25-man roster spot of left-handed pitcher Felix Doubront, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list today with a left shoulder strain. Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington made the announcement.

An eight-year major league veteran, Drew played for Boston in 2013, and helped the Red Sox to the World Series Championship. The left-handed batter played in 124 games, all at shortstop, during the regular season and hit .253 (112-for-442) with 29 doubles, eight triples, 13 home runs, 67 RBI, 57 runs scored, and 54 walks.

Drew slugged .443 in 2013, the best single-season mark by a primary Red Sox shortstop since Nomar Garciaparra slugged .524 in 2003 (min. 425 PA). His .435 career slugging percentage is fourth best among primary shortstops over the last eight seasons (min. 2,500 PA) behind only Troy Tulowitzki (.520), Hanley Ramirez (.504), and Jose Reyes (.450).

The native of Hahira, GA tied a single-season career high with 67 RBI in 2013 (also 2008), second among American League shortstops (Baltimore's J.J. Hardy, 76). He also matched career marks with 16 go-ahead RBI and 10 game-winning RBI, both of which topped the AL as a shortstop, and ranked among AL leaders at the position in walks (T-2nd) and home runs (T-3rd).

Against right-handed pitching last year, Drew posted career bests in slugging (.498) and OPS (.876), with nine of his 13 homers coming against righties. Among primary shortstops, he has the third best slugging percentage (.463) and OPS (.813) against righties since the start of 2008, with only Tulowitzki (.528 SLG, .895 OPS) and Ramirez (.499 SLG, .872 OPS) ahead of him.

He hit .306 with a .376 on-base percentage, .571 slugging percentage, and .946 OPS with two outs last year, including a team-best 1.022 OPS with two outs and runners in scoring position.

Drew finished second among 2013 AL qualifiers at shortstop with a .984 fielding percentage, and his eight errors were his fewest in his five seasons in which he played at least 100 games.

All 916 of his career appearances in the field have come at shortstop and his .979 fielding percentage is fifth-best among active players with at least 900 games at the position.

In 53 games from last July 27 through the end of the 2013 regular season, he hit .292 and led primary major league shortstops in slugging (.513) and OPS (.879). He hit .283 with 32 extra-base hits (19 doubles, 5 triples, 8 home runs) over his last 68 regular season games beginning on June 18.

Drew started all 16 of Boston's postseason games en route to the 2013 World Series title. In the World Series clinching Game Six, he became the second Red Sox shortstop ever to hit a home run in the Fall Classic, along with Rico Petrocelli in 1967.

Selected by Arizona in first round of the 2004 June Draft (15th overall), he played parts of seven seasons with the Diamondbacks (2006-12) and Athletics (2012) before joining the Red Sox for the 2013 season. In 936 career regular season games, he has a .264 average, 210 doubles, 60 triples, 90 home runs, 416 RBI, 471 runs scored, 347 walks, and 40 stolen bases. He is a lifetime .275 hitter against right-handed pitching.

His 60 career triples rank fifth in the majors since the start of 2006. Only Jose Reyes (89), Curtis Granderson (76), Carl Crawford (69), and Shane Victorino (68) have more. He has finished among the top five players in triples in the American or National League in four of the last six seasons.

Doubront, 26, took the loss last night in a start against the Toronto Blue Jays. He was removed from the game in the fifth inning after experiencing left shoulder fatigue. In nine starts this season, the left-hander has gone 2-4 with a 5.12 ERA (26 ER/45.2 IP) and 31 strikeouts. Signed by Boston as an international free agent in 2004, Doubront owns a 26-22 record with a 4.67 ERA and 366 strikeouts in 404.1 career innings over 90 major league games (68 starts) from 2010-14.

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