Little did Stephen Drew know, he was placed on waivers almost two days ago. After tonight's game, he was no longer an Arizona Diamondback.
Kevin Towers and Billy Beane got together and executed a trade sending Drew to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Sean Jamieson, a young shortstop prospect. According to General Manager Kevin Towers, the trade just made sense for both teams.
Drew is now reunited with his former manager in Arizona, Bob Melvin and he gets to chase a pennant in the AL West. The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, add a talented young shortstop prospect, a position they were very thin at in the minor league farm system. Towers noted that Jamieson has, "speed, power for the position," but that he is also still, "probably a ways away," from making his major league debut.
Towers did admit that the team had discussions with the A's at the trade deadline about trading Drew, but nothing materialized. Now, the team will be receiving a stellar prospect in Jamieson, who will immediately report to the single-A South Bend club.
There had been no talks with Drew about an extension or a restructuring of his contract up to this point, according to Towers. It just seemed beneficial for the Diamondbacks to trade him at this time. Towers said that with Drew's impending free agency, his gut feeling was that Drew would walk anyhow. It was better for Arizona to get something while they still could. With the trade, the Diamondbacks will save approximately $2 million this season and an additional $1.3 million in 2013.
"With the uncertainty of knowing if we were even going to be able bring Stephen back at the end of the season -- it was more than likely going to be a situation where he would have probably tested free agency. We were only going to have his services probably for only the next six weeks."
Despite many rumors, the trade was not made because of Drew's health. Towers noted that he had recovered, "better than expected," and that the D-backs were just looking for ways to get young guys like Jake Elmore and the other players like Willie Bloomquist and John McDonald more at-bats. Bloomquist is expected to be activated on Friday from the disabled list, per Towers and manager Kirk Gibson.
Both parties seemed happy with the trade, as it is signs of a fresh start. Towers was happy with the way Drew performed during his eight years in the Diamondbacks organization. "These [trades] are always difficult. They're tough; not easy to make. But it's going to allow Gibby to get a better look at guys like Jake Elmore... We've got a lot of middle infielders and it gives a guy like Elmore a chance to probably get more AB's [at bats]."
When the media was able to speak with Drew after the game, he seemed excited for the new opportunity and thanked his fans for the time he spent here in Arizona.
"I was a little shocked," Drew said of the trade. "I'd like first and foremost to say thanks to the fans that have supported me. Also, to the organization for 6 1/2 years, 7 years. It's been a lot of fun. It's part of business and I guess it's going to be good on both sides."
Drew categorized the move as, "refreshing and a new start," especially since he will be rejoining Bob Melvin. He is looking forward to moving from one pennant race to another. He also said that none of the deal had anything to do with his ankle or the disagreement he had with Diamondbacks owner, Ken Kendrick.
Whatever the case, the Diamondbacks are losing an elite defensive shortstop, but they are saving a bit of money and some time spent in hectic negotiations by trading Drew away.