According to Peter Gammons, Stephen Drew is “awaiting some further Yankee clarity,” before making his decision on where to sign for the 2014 season. This could mean a couple of things.
One: He is waiting to find out if Alex Rodriguez is going to be suspended. The New York Yankees seemingly have both of their middle infield positions covered. If A-Rod’s suspension is upheld, then Drew knows he has a starting position at third.
Two: he could be discussing his role, assuming Rodriguez returns to the Yankees. Though the Yankees have bodies to cover their infield, every single one of them is still a question mark. Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Brian Roberts and Rodriguez are all coming off a season in which they battled injuries. Drew could be optimistic that even if he isn’t a starter on day one, he will eventually earn a significant role on the team.
Drew should be confident that he will receive substantial playing time, and the Yankees should be telling him that. He is a better option than Brendan Ryan and Kelly Johnson, who both are the apparent backups to Jeter and Roberts.
Regardless of the names the Yankees have, not one player is a 162-game kind of guy. If the Yankees are able to persuade Drew into playing in the Bronx, he could turn out to be one of their best and safest offseason acquisitions. There are no guarantees in the Yankee infield, but Drew could be the one.
Even if Rodriguez doesn’t come back and they are left with Drew at the hot corner, it could turn out well for New York. Drew is younger, more durable and less of a headache. He can guarantee he will be on the field and Rodriguez can’t.
However, the Yankees will probably need a lot of luck if they want Drew. First they need to convey their need for him. This could be difficult as the team already has enough people to fill the roster. Second they will have to negotiate with Scott Boras, Drew’s agent, who claims his client merits a long-term deal in the $100 million range. That number is ridiculous judging by Drew’s numbers, so the Yankees could probably get him in the $40-50 million range for four or five years, but who knows.
Seeing Drew in pinstripes would be a pretty good pick-up for the Yankees, but they need to make sure they don’t pay Boras-type money for him.