It took until the final hour before Thursday’s trade deadline, but the New York Yankees have made a trade in an attempt to bolster their struggling lineup. As ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes reported and was soon confirmed by multiple media outlets, the Yankees acquired veteran shortstop Stephen Drew from their division rival Boston Red Sox in exchange for Kelly Johnson.
Drew has struggled to a .176/.255/.328 batting line in 39 games this season, and has just four home runs and 11 RBIs. However, he is a career .261 hitter who could improve with the change of scenery. The Yankees had attempted to sign the 31-year-old during spring training to man third base, but he ultimately decided to take a prorated one-year, $10 million deal from the Red Sox.
Kelly Johnson has not fared much better in his first season as a Yankee, hitting .219/.304/.373 while hitting six home runs and driving in 22 runs. Johnson has been utilized as a utility player this year, appearing in games at five different positions for the Yankees.
Bitter rivals for the better part of a century, the Yankees and Red Sox have not been trading partners since 1997, when the Yankees sent Tony Armas to Boston in exchange for Mike Stanley.
Drew now joins an infield that already includes shortstop Derek Jeter, recently-acquired third baseman Chase Headley, and second baseman Brian Roberts. Despite never playing s single inning at any position other than shortstop in his professional career, it seems likely that Drew will take Roberts’ spot as the team’s everyday second baseman. If so, Roberts could be designated for assignment to clear room for a utility player, such as Jose Pirela.
Acquiring Drew was not the team’s only move on the day. The Yankees also claimed right-handed relief pitcher Esmil Rogers off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. In order to make room on the 40-man roster, Triple-A utility infielder Scott Sizemore was designated for assignment.