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Stephen Drew starts minor league assignment

Earliest he could return to big club is June 2

Stephen Drew, shown earlier this week, was in Single A Greenville’s lineup on Friday.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Stephen Drew cleared waivers, agreed to accept a minor league option, and started at shortstop for Single A Greenville on Friday night.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said Drew would spend four days with the South Atlantic League team, playing shortstop twice and spending one game as the designated hitter.

From there, Drew would join Double A Portland or Triple A Pawtucket. The plan is for him to get 25 plate appearances and a few full nine-inning games.

Drew, batting second for the Drive, was 1 for 2 with a single and played five innings in the field.cq He handled five chances at shortstop without an error.


Because Drew was optioned, he has to spend at least 10 days in the minor leagues, so the earliest he could join the Red Sox would be June 2 in Cleveland.

Drew could be recalled earlier to replace a player going on the disabled list.

Drew was on the active roster Wednesday and Thursday after signing a major league contract on Tuesday. He did not play. Under MLB rules, for Drew to get some work in the minor leagues the Red Sox had to option him. Because of Drew’s service time, that involved passing him through waivers first.

Xander Bogaerts will move to third base when Drew rejoins the Red Sox. But until then, Bogaerts will remain at shortstop and work on third base before games.

“What we’ve outlined to Xander is that we’re going to re-acclimate him at third base with all early work,” Farrell said. “We don’t want him to change his mind-set that he’s not our shortstop until that day. We have enough changes going on that we want to remain as constant as we can.”

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @peteabe.