Of all Boston's shiny new free agents with starting jobs, Stephen Drew received the least amount of attention. That's not surprising, with or without context: Mike Napoli was considered a top free agent, and then his re-negotiation process took up considerable bandwidth, and both he and Shane Victorino were originally inked at the media-festival known as the winter meetings. Drew, however, quietly had his option declined by the Athletics at the start of the off-season, subsequently failed to make big waves on the open market, and agreed to a contract with Boston on an early mid-December morning before many fans and journalists were awake to even hear about it.

Drew was owed $10 million on a mutual option for 2013 that went with him from the Diamondbacks to the A's in 2012. Even if the A's had not declined it, chances are good Drew, represented by Scott Boras, might have waived away his portion of the agreement in order to test the open market. While he ended up taking a similar deal with the Red Sox, he was originally looking for a multi-year contract that would exceed his career earnings to that point. With the shortstop market lacking, there was no reason to think he wouldn't get his way, either.