After an offseason of speculation and countless rumors between the New York Mets and free agent shortstop Stephen Drew, the saga is officially over. The Boston Red Sox have signed Drew for $10 million, eliminating any chance for him to end up with the Mets, which is no big deal.
The Mets signing Drew would only have made sense if he remained unsigned following the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft, when the Mets wouldn’t have to give up a draft pick. Also, it only would have made sense if the Mets were serious competitors, and an extra two or three wins at the end of the season would made a significant difference.
At this point, the Mets are within striking distance of first place in the NL East, but their erratic play indicates a team that won’t be that close by season’s end. If that’s the case, Drew’s presence with the Mets would be meaningless, and at $10 million, he’s nowhere close to being that valuable.
Furthermore, adding Drew would only complicate the Mets’ situation at shortstop. The team has decided to give Wilmer Flores a chance to play shortstop to see if his bat and glove will suffice at the major league level; and with first base, second base, and third base all spoken for, shortstop is the only place to put him.
The Mets would also like to give Ruben Tejada some time at shortstop to see if he has any kind of major league future with the team. There’s no way for the Mets to sort out the situation between Flores and Tejada if Drew were to join.
Even if Flores and Tejada both end up flopping at shortstop this season (Tejada is already well on his way), the Mets wouldn’t be a significantly better team if they signed Drew, as they need their stars to play better, not their supporting players. Despite his $10 million salary, Drew is far from a star.
If nothing else, the Mets not signing Drew allows them to spend this season sorting out the situation between Flores and Tejada at shortstop. If neither works out, they’ll be free to spend money this offseason on any free agent shortstop they want, including Drew, and so losing out on signing him is for the best, no matter how bleak the Mets’ situation at shortstop may seem.