The Ruben Tejada saga won’t go away. The Mets have been linked to free-agent Stephen Drew, and now to Nick Franklin, evidentally because they are not convinced that Ruben Tejada is the everyday shortstop. We know this because if they were convinced Tejada was their man, we still wouldn’t be having these discussions.
Early news in camp seemed to be positive, but now it’s starting to look as if that may just have been a smoke screen, as the Mets and Drew’s agent seem to be in a standoff regarding his services. The latest story in the NY Post states:
Even though Tejada attended an offseason strength/conditioning and nutrition camp in Michigan, Mets management has not been overwhelmed by the shortstop’s “new’’ body.
“He looks pretty much the same,’’ one source told The Post on Monday.
Frustrated with Tejada, the Mets still have a strong interest in signing free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew, two sources have told The Post. They also have shown interest in Seattle’s Nick Franklin.
Another anonymous source leaking a story…what a surprise. But it all makes sense.
Sandy Alderson may have been trying to leverage the positivity around Tejada early in camp, and Franklin’s trade availability in his game of cat and mouse with Scott Boras. Boras has said that Drew is willing to wait until June to sign. I find that hard to believe. Unfortunately, the fact that we are even discussing Franklin and Drew, and the Mets willingness to give Wilmer Flores burn at shortstop shows that the Mets have no intention of starting the season with Tejada as their starter. That puts Boras and Drew in the driver’s seat.
Now they just sit back and wait for the Mets to cave. They know that the Mets would be wise to get a deal done before any games are played this spring, because every poor performance by Tejada gives Boras and Drew more leverage. Now we are hearing that the Mets are willing to discuss a trade with the Mariners involving their shortstop/second baseman, Nick Franklin.
Let’s take a look at this scenario.
The Mets have stated that the trade talks could heat up later this spring. Later this spring—meaning we will try to sign Drew before giving away an established major leaguer or top prospect for a second year player that hasn’t accomplished more than Tejada at this point.
The Mets can sign Drew and sacrifice a draft pick. For this, it will cost them a little extra (money wise) but they will get an established major leaguer to man the shortstop position. The draft pick is unknown, so they would not be losing much.
The Mets can also trade for Franklin. This will give them a potential 20/20 player that is under team control for the next six years—but it will probably cost them a Rafael Montero-like prospect. Many don’t think Franklin has the range to play shortstop at the major league level—the guy can steal 20 bases in a season but has poor range? When was the last time Jhonny Peralta stole 20 bases in a season? I’ll give you a hint: NEVER. Not even close.
Many baseball experts have Drew pegged as a future New York Met. Whether that happens is yet to be seen.