Stephen Drew and Kelly Johnson are trading places. The Red Sox and Yankees — making their first trade together since 1997 — exchanged infielders shortly before the 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline, MLB.com confirmed.
Drew has hit only .176/.255/.328 since re-signing with the Red Sox in May, while Johnson is on the disabled list with a strained left groin. Johnson, who was batting .219 with a .304 on-base percentage and .373 slugging mark before his injury, saw time at all four corner spots and second base for New York this season.
The role for both players with their team new is not clear. The Yankees have Derek Jeter at shortstop, of course, and Brian Roberts at second. Johnson could serve as a utility infielder for Boston, who have Dustin Pedroia entrenched at second and the threesome of Xander Bogaerts, Brock Holt and a rehabbing Will Middlebrooks competing for time on the left side of the infield.
Drew and Johnson are both free agents at the end of the season.
The move was the fourth of the day for the Red Sox, who also traded Jon Lester, John Lackey and Andrew Miller.
The Red Sox and Yankees meet for a three-game series at Fenway starting Friday.
The wheeling-and-dealing Red Sox made their third trade of the day Thursday afternoon, sending left-handed reliever Andrew Miller to the Orioles in exchange for left-handed pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez, the teams announced.
Miller has emerged as a reliable left-handed reliever for Boston in recent years. After posting a 2.64 ERA and 14.1 strikeouts per nine innings during his injury-shortened 2013, Miller has rebounded with an even better campaign. He owns a 2.34 ERA and 0.90 WHIP while striking out 14.7 batters per nine innings, a rate good for fourth best among Major League relievers.
Rodriguez is Baltimore’s No. 3 prospect, according to the MLB.com rankings released Sunday. He is struggling with Double-A Bowie this season (4.79 ERA, 1.44 WHIP), but “still profiles as a middle-of-the rotation starter,” according to MLB.com’s Prospect Watch. Left-handed batters are hitting .186 with just five extra-base hits (all doubles) against Rodriguez.
This trade came hours after the Red Sox sent starters Jon Lester and John Lackey to the A’s and Cardinals, respectively.