Will Stephen Drew factor into A’s plans beyond 2012?

Stephen Drew played his first game in an A’s uniform Tuesday night, though there wasn’t much to glean from his debut in the A’s 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins. He went 0 for 4 and had just a few routine balls go his way at shortstop, which he handled. The A’s expect Drew to provide a boost over the final six weeks of this season. But it’s interesting to ponder what the A’s will do at shortstop beyond 2012. Drew has a $10 million mutual option for next season — meaning he and the A’s must both decide to exercise it. If they don’t, the A’s pay him a $1.35 million buyout. Would they consider bringing him back? “Let’s see how the next six weeks go,” A’s assistant general manager David Forst said Monday night.

There’s a decent chance the A’s won’t bring Drew back next season at that price tag unless he really catches fire down the stretch. So who are the options to play short in 2013? Perhaps Cliff Pennington gets another crack at it, but for now he’ll be concentrating on second base along with Adam Rosales (another shortstop candidate). Might Grant Green, the 2009 first-round pick who has bounced all around the diamond, get a look at short in spring training? How quickly can Addison Russell, the A’s first-round pick this year who is just out of high school, develop and move up the ranks? He just got promoted to low Single-A Burlington. And don’t forget about Eric Sogard and Brandon Hicks.

Perhaps the A’s will look to sign a shortstop. It will be interesting to watch unfold. Just remember that because the A’s made a move to shore up the position this season doesn’t mean things are any more settled for next year. …

Joe Stiglich