New York Yankees: Is Stephen Drew a Possibility to Fill Potential Void at Short and Third?
With Alex Rodriguez’s future very much up in the air and Derek Jeter’s health a major question mark after a broken ankle ruined his season, the New York Yankees will need to find someone who can play third base and someone who can find shortstop. Right now, the Yankees do have Jayson Nix and Eduardo Nunez as options but neither of those is someone you want to see in the everyday lineup. The Yankees will need to find someone who can be plugged into the lineup at either spot and not be a letdown offensively or defensively.
The Yankees tried the aging veteran route last year to replace Rodriguez when they signed Kevin Youkilis to a one-year, $12 million deal while letting Eric Chavez walk. The move backfired on the Yankees as Youkilis missed most of the season with a bad back and Nix and Nunez were relied upon too much.
Stephen Drew could help the Yankees at either shortstop or third depending on where they need him. Drew spurned a larger contract from the Yankees to sign with the Boston Red Sox because Drew wanted the playing time. Now, Drew could be forced out in Boston where Will Middlebrooks and Xander Bogaerts figure to push Drew out. However, there is still a chance the Red Sox could offer Drew a qualifying offer. If Drew accepts the qualifying offer he will make $14 million on a one-year deal which would be a lot of money for a potential back-up infielder. If the Red Sox offer a qualifying offer, the team signing him would have to forfeit a first-round draft choice.
The Yankees obviously had an interest in Drew last season and figure to show similar interest this off-season. However, Drew could search for a starting job instead of the potential of starting in place of Rodriguez or Jeter. However, if the Red Sox do offer Drew a qualifying offer then Drew should automatically be someone the Yankees should pass over.
Drew, who will turn 31 next season, hit .253/.333/.443 with 13 homers, 67 RBI, 29 doubles, eight triples and 57 runs scored this past season. He is a career .264/.329/.435 hitter but has a history of injuries although this year he appeared in 124 games, the most since 2010.
Drew would be a nice player to have in the event of Jeter not being ready or Rodriguez being suspended. However, the Yankees can find a better option on the market with Omar Infante and Jhonny Peralta representing upgrades over Drew. The Yankees could also re-sign Brendan Ryan and make a run at Eric Chavez as well.
Drew would be a nice fit since he has some pop in his bat and can play shortstop and third base but the Yankees need to get him at their price otherwise they need to pass.