With less than two weeks left before the start of spring training, most MLB teams are getting ready to head south to start their season. However, for the New York Mets, Boston Red Sox and possibly a couple others, the situation with free agent shortstop Stephen Drew still hangs over their head.
Many experts believe that Drew will end up signing with the Mets, including Peter Gammons and New York radio host Mike Francesa. In fact, Francesa said on Tuesday that the Mets made an offer to Drew and the two sides were settled on money. Now all they were talking about is the number of years in the contract, although that report was quickly refuted. But why are the so-called experts insisting that Drew will end up with the Mets?
It’s been more than six weeks since Drew’s agent Scott Boras approached the Mets, and nothing has happened outside of a whole lot of speculation. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson likes to play hardball and slow play negotiations, but he wouldn’t do it for this long over a player that the Mets like but aren’t overly enthralled with.
In fact, all signs from the Mets’ perspective indicate that the team is done spending this winter and are all but ready to head to spring training, meaning no major moves are likely to happen at this point in the offseason. In addition to that, the Red Sox have reportedly made a two-year offer to Drew, and a two-year contract is something Drew is unlikely to get from the Mets.
Gammons has said that the Red Sox are asking Drew to be a utility infielder, but the Red Sox are saying that has nothing to do with the Mets making him an offer. Moreover, officials in the Mets’ front office have gone out of their way in recent weeks to voice support for Ruben Tejada, who stands to be the team’s shortstop if they don’t sign Drew.
In the end, the Mets aren’t serious enough about Drew to go out of their way to sign him, and they are probably better off not signing him. Why experts keep saying that Drew will ultimately sign with the Mets is beyond comprehension as it seems far from inevitable and not even that likely to happen with spring training right around the corner.