December 23, 2013

If Mets Only Go One Year On Drew, Why Bother?

With the news yesterday that Scott Boras is trying to reengage the Mets on free agents Kendrys Morales and Stephen Drew, there has been significant speculation as to whether either could actually end up in Flushing.  The Mets have said without reservation that they are uninterested in the services of Morales.  They remain however at least lukewarm on Stephen Drew.

Drew would represent an definitive upgrade at shortstop.  He is a quality defender and would increase the team's power production from the position immediately.  As a result, just like they were at the Winter Meetings two weeks ago in Orlando, the Mets would be interested in Stephen Drew on the right deal.

According to Kevin Kernan of the NY Post, Stephen Drew is in search of a three-year deal, while the Mets would go no longer than a two year committment.  The boys over at MetsBlog speculate that the Mets could go as little at one year, if possible.  That simply doesn't make sense.

Although signing Drew is an upgrade at the largest hole remaining in the Mets daily lineup, he wouldn't come without risks.  Most specifically, injury risks.  Drew hasn't played in more than 124 games in any season since 2010.  Thats a difficult pill to swallow for a team looking to avoid the type of lost contracts the Mets had to wait out (See: Bay and Santana).  However on the contrary, the Mets can put an exclamtion point on their offseason if they were to find a way to make this work.

I don't envision a scenario where Drew signs for just one year, unless his market is just that flat that he wants to playout 2014 and go in search of the payday again next winter.  I expect it to take two years..and quite possibly a third year option.  Unless money is soley the prohibitive issue, its tough to see an objection.  The Mets have no one waiting in the wings for years to come, but with Drew in the everyday lineup, they do have a capable backup in Ruben Tejada.

When the offseason started, there was no one who thought Drew could find his way to the Mets.  He isn't a perfect fit, and although he will cost the Mets their third round pick in next summers draft, he will sure up the lineup and the defense up the middle. 

A one year deal would find the Mets right back in the same spot next winter, devoid of a shortstop with a much more plentiful, but more expensive free agent crop.  On only a two or three year deal, he allows the team to maintain payroll flexibility in the long term.  Again, he's not perfect, but his remains the organization's best option at this point in time.

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