It seems that Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors thinks the Mets are the best fit for Stephen Drew. Well, that makes the two of us—and probably thousands of us who want to see the Mets bring in a quality shortstop.
I’ve said from day one that the Mets disinterest regarding Drew was most likely a negotiation tactic, and now that the market on Drew seems to be boiling down to a handful of teams, the Mets are going to wait this out so that they don’t end up bidding against themselves.
Regardless of what is put out in the airwaves, I highly doubt the Mets have any interest in starting the season with Ruben Tejada at shortstop. Drew would provide the young team with a veteran presence up the middle where defense in crucial. In addition to a veteran presence, Drew would be the only player on the Mets roster to have a World Series ring.
By signing Drew, the Mets would continue to build out a stable of established and successful veterans to supplement their young core of talented players. Whether you agree with this winter’s signings or not, the Mets are doing it right.
Tejada had a nice year in 2012, but in baseball, it’s all about consistent production. If the Mets had any trust that Tejada could outperform Drew, we wouldn’t still be hearing rumblings about this, and the Mets would have moved on to addressing one of their other organizational needs.
The Mets know what they will get with Drew—3.4 WAR, solid defense, and veteran presence up the middle. Tejada is a complete wild card, but odds are, even if he has a great year, he wouldn’t outperform Drew—even in Tejada’s solid 2012, he put up a 1.8 WAR (lower than Drew’s projection for this season).
There is a reason why the Mets have put everything on hold. They would rather go into 2014 knowing what to expect from arguably the most important position on the field.
As Dierkes also points out in his piece on MLBTR, according to projections, Drew ranks 23rd among starting shortstops in the league for 2014. One notable shortstop that he ranks higher than would be Starlin Castro (who many Mets fans lobbied to trade for a couple of months ago).
The question is, do you go into the 2014 season with a guy that is projected to be the 23rd ranked in his position, or a guy that could possibly need to be replaced by May? What would you do if you were Sandy Alderson?