Red Sox doing 'anything they can' to retain Stephen Drew and Mike Napoli

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

In the wake of Jacoby Ellsbury defecting to the rival Yankees, the Red Sox are working hard to make sure they don't lose Stephen Drew and Mike Napoli, as well.

Red Sox fans may still be basking in the warm glow of their team's World Series triumph, but the business of baseball has already moved on. Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury signed with the Yankees for $153 million and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is heading to South Beach to become a Marlin for $21 million. Now that they are gone, the Red Sox are doing "anything [they] can" to keep two other key free agents, Stephen Drew and Mike Napoli, according to Red Sox manager John Farrell.

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The Red Sox have suitable replacements for Ellsbury and Saltalamacchia, so while the defections sting, they aren't crippling. Jackie Bradley, Jr. could step into the outfield and they signed free agent A.J. Pierzynski to fill in behind the plate. In the event they are unable to retain Drew and Napoli, however, it might be more difficult to replace their production. Top prospect Xander Bogaerts could step in at shortstop in the event of Drew's departure, but he is just 21 years old and the Sox may be reluctant to rely exclusively on both him and Will Middlebrooks on the left side of the infield just yet.

The presence of outfielder Daniel Nava makes things a little easier, as the Red Sox are willing to move him to first base should Napoli depart and no replacement be found. Mike Carp has also had his name mentioned, though, it's unclear to what degree the Red Sox are actually willing to use him on an everyday basis. They are options, however, so there won't be any huge hole come Opening Day should Boston lose both of their remaining significant free agents.

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