Sometimes I still don’t get how some Met fans will ignore one hundred years of baseball history to hang onto a faint hope that something positive will fall the Mets way. That is if you want to call signing a declining skills, injury-prone player like Stephen Drew something positive. I don’t.
Bu lets examine this notion that the Yankees will go into poverty-mode even if they were to sign Masahiro Tanaka like a few Met bloggers expect. There’s now a push by some to have Met fans believe it will open the door for the Sandy Alderson to swoop in and sign the 31-year old shortstop unencumbered.
Presumably the Mets would top any one-year deal the Red Sox will offer, a premise that is pure speculation in and of itself. Most Red Sox people and fans I’ve spoken to, unanimously say the Sox are still interested and would offer Drew two years. That would put the Mets at a three-year offer, something I said back in September would never happen for a variety of reasons, chief among them being Drew can’t seem to stay on the field. In the last three years the free agent has only averaged 95 games while posting a .247 batting average. Wow, how exciting.
Let’s get back to the Yankees who have scrapped their thoughts of a $189 million payroll about a month after they first floated the possibility. The Bombers need to replace at least part of Robinson Cano‘s offense in the middle of the infield as well as desperately needing to add a top shelf starter. They view Tanaka and Drew as the best options available to them, and nothing seems to stand in their way of getting both if that’s what they want. The luxury tax be damned.
Before the Christmas break, Peter Gammons reported that Scott Boras and Drew were waiting for some clarity from the Yankees and the Mets. Of course, those with rose-colored glasses took that to mean that Gammons was referring to affordability as it most certainly is with the Mets.
But what everyone seemed to ignore, and what was obvious to many who were not just focused in the ruminations from Flushing, was that in the Yankees’ case the clarity was not money related at all. In their circumstances, it boiled down to whether Drew would play shortstop or third base as was reported by most Yankee beat reporters. The hangup was also that Drew would be more willing to agree to a deal with the Yankees if they assured him of what kind of playing time they can offer him. The Yankees are very much still in the game and not out as some are speculating.
During the Winter Meetings, one rival American League executive told us that Drew prefers to stay with Boston, but would love to play for the Yankees instead if he were to leave Beantown.
Getting back to the Mets, my thoughts on Drew are simple. I don’t want another Luis Castillo situation. Signing Drew would be just that. At the time, Castillo was just as bad a risk as Drew is now, and it didn’t cost the Mets a draft pick like Drew would – making this signing potentially worse.
But that’s besides the point of this post. The fact is that the Mets are not suddenly the frontrunners to land Drew, despite what you might be reading elsewhere today. And the Yankees chances of signing Drew most certainly did not go out the window when Tanaka was posted. And that’s good news.