The New York Mets have all but wrapped up their offseason moves prior to the start of Spring Training for the 2014 season, but one issue is still hanging over their heads: free agent shortstop Stephen Drew. Even though talk has been quiet on the Drew front lately, as long as he remains unsigned, the Mets will remain a possibility to land him. That said, the Mets will ultimately be better off if they don’t sign him.
Even if the Mets were to sign Drew to a one-year contract, which is their preference, he doesn’t make the team considerably better. Even if he helps them win a few games that they wouldn’t have won otherwise, it’s unlikely that he becomes the difference in the Mets making the playoffs or not.
Signing Drew would also keep the Mets from seeing if Ruben Tejada is capable of bouncing back from a disastrous 2013 season, especially after many in the front office have voiced their confidence in Tejada heading into the season. At this point, the Mets are better off taking a chance on a young shortstop that makes little money than a veteran shortstop seeking a hefty payday who only makes them marginally better.
If the Mets were to sign Drew to a multi-year contract, which is what Drew is holding out for, it could prevent the Mets from exploring next year’s free agent class at shortstop, which is much better than this year’s class. Right now, that appears to be the best option for the Mets as their most promising shortstop prospects are all several years from reaching the big leagues, and conceding a multi-year deal to Drew to will ruin those plans.
While we can debate whether the Mets’ interest in Drew is genuine and whether they’re serious contenders to sign him, the truth is that the Mets are better off not signing him. Despite playing games with agent Scott Boras, general manager Sandy Alderson would be wise to give up on trying to bring Drew to the Mets.