OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Athletics landed their veteran shortstop in Stephen Drew.
The A’s acquired Drew from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday in exchange for minor league infielder Sean Jamieson.
The trade, announced by Oakland in the seventh inning of Monday night’s game with the Minnesota Twins, reunites Drew with former Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin — in his first full season as A’s skipper.
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“It’ll be refreshing and a new start,” Drew said. “It’s a good feeling to go over there and still be competing (for the postseason).”
Drew is expected to join Oakland in time to play the middle game of the series against the Twins on Tuesday. He recently returned after being sidelined for nearly a year with a fractured right ankle. He sat out 137 games in all.
The 29-year-old Drew is batting .193 with two home runs and 12 RBIs in 40 games since coming back June 26.
“Coming back, I’ve been hitting the ball well but haven’t been finding any holes,” he said.
Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers said last month it was “highly unlikely” the team would trade Drew this season, saying he hadn’t received an offer for either Drew or Justin Upton that would improve the Arizona club.
A’s GM Billy Beane must have changed his mind.
“It was more than likely he would have tested free agency so we probably would have only had his services for another six weeks,” Towers said.
“I have no doubt in my mind that he’ll make the A’s a much better ballclub.”
Oakland, a surprise playoff contender this season with a cast of moving parts and new faces, had been looking for a consistent regular in the middle of the infield given the struggles and injuries of Cliff Pennington and Adam Rosales.
During the 2007 postseason playing for Melvin and the NL West champions, Drew batted .387 with two home runs and four RBIs in seven games, including .294 (5 for 17) against the Colorado Rockies in the NL championship series.
Drew is coming off the severe ankle injury and has a $10 million mutual option for next season. If the option is not picked up, Drew receives a $1.35 million buyout.
“I think he’s probably recovered better than I thought,” Towers said. “We have a lot of middle infielders and it’s tough to spread the reps and at bats among three middle infielders.”
The A’s will make corresponding moves to their 40-man and 25-man rosters upon Drew’s arrival. He is currently in an 0-for-15 stretch and is batting .069 (2 for 29) over his past nine games. Drew homered in consecutive games Aug. 5-7.
The 23-year-old Jamieson, Oakland’s 17th-round draft pick out of Canisius College in 2011, was batting .234 with 10 home runs, 49 RBIs and 25 stolen bases in 118 games for Single-A Burlington.