Coming back after a fractured right ankle on a collision at home plate that had him sidelined from mid-July until late June of last season, Drew hit .193 in 39 games with two homers and 12 RBIs with the Diamondbacks until he was dealt to Oakland, where he played the final 40 games batting .250 with five homers and 16 RBIs.
"Going through it gets kind of crazy," he said. "I put a lot of hard work and dedication into the rehab process not knowing if I was going to ever play baseball again or not."
Before the injury, Drew played 135 games or more in four straight years with Arizona. His best was when he hit .291 with 21 homers and 67 RBIs in 2008.
Drew's reputation took somewhat of a hit when Diamondbacks' owner Ken Kendrick questioned the amount of time the shortstop took to get back from the injury. He also understands that he's coming to a market where his brother was similarly criticized for taking a while to recover from his injuries.
"I understand Boston. The team's been around a long time and the fans are kind of passionate. They have a right to be," he said. "As players you go through hard times. You go out and play and just leave it out there on the field -- that's all you can do. At the end of the day, you go home and think about things and try to fix it. You adapt -- just like you do after every tough at-bat."
Drew is likely to become Boston's 11th starting shortstop in a revolving-door position. Mike Aviles started 123 games there last season then was sent to Toronto as compensation for the Red Sox prying their new manager, John Farrell, away from the Blue Jays. Aviles later was traded to the Cleveland Indians.
Slick-fielding Jose Iglesias, 22, had been considered Boston's shortstop of the future, but he struggled at the plate, batting .118 in 24 games last year. He may also have been moved down in the organizational depth chart by Xander Bogaerts, 20, who has played just 23 games at Double-A.
Boston started the shortstop maneuverings in 2004 when it traded Nomar Garciaparra in the middle of the season.