2013 was a lost year for Mets starting shortstop Ruben Tejada. He missed significant time due to injuries, and he struggled to produce when he was on the field. In 208 at bats last season, he hit just .202 with no home runs and a .259 on base percentage. While I believe Tejada is a better player than he showed last year, the Mets should move on from him and sign free agent short stop Stephen Drew.
Drew provides power and production from the shortstop position. Drew from 2008-2010 was in the top 10 among qualified major league shortstops in Home runs, RBI, and Batting average, in addition to having the third highest slugging percentage.
After suffering from a horrific ankle injury in 2011, he looks like he is now back to form. Drew rebounded last season with Boston, and he hit .253 with 13 home runs and 67 RBI in 124 games. While these numbers may seem pedestrian on the surface, he still ranked among the league leaders at shortstop in many significant categories.
Among shortstops with at least 400 AB’s, Drew again finished inside the top ten in home runs, RBI and Slugging Percentage.
With the way our lineup is constructed, we need all the offense we can get. Granderson, Wright and Murphy are the only safe bets to produce offensively, and we are likely to start the season with a defensive minded player in centerfield in Juan Lagares. To keep pace with teams that have stronger lineups, we need more than a singles hitter at shortstop. Even in his best seasons, Tejada did not hit more than one home run in a season. He simply is not going to provide the production we need in order to be competitive.
Stephen Drew by himself does not turn the Mets lineup into a juggernaut. However, he gives the lineup an extra boost that it severely needs. Drew is clearly better than Tejada, both offensively and defensively, and his price doesn’t appear to be unreasonable. If the Mets can land Drew on a two or three year deal, then I think the Mets have to sign him.