According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, free agent shortstop Stephen Drew will turn down Boston’s qualifying offer in order to seek a larger payday. In Heyman’s article, Drew’s agent Scott Boras puts his client’s name in the same sentence with Shin-Soo Choo and Jacoby Ellsbury (quite a reach). Writes Heyman:
A few baseball folks were surprised the Red Sox even extended the $14.1 million qualifying offer to shortstop Stephen Drew, but it has become clear already that Drew will not accept that offer and is aiming much higher than that. Agent Scott Boras declined to comment on Drew’s plans for the qualifying offer, but Boras’ rhetoric suggested they have much bigger plans in mind. In a mostly weak shortstop group, Drew stands out, and Boras went so far as to include Drew when he spoke of the unexpected markets developing for stars Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo, saying about the trio, ‘There’s more mysteries than at a book fair.’
Boras is correct that Drew has value (he offers plus defense and plus pop at a position that lacks two way players). However, it’s highly likely Drew will net a deal between two and four years at an average annual value between $12 and $14 million – not a six or seven year mega-deal that Choo and Ellsbury are rumored to be in line for.
As Heyman points out in his article, Drew ranked third in OPS among qualifying shortstops. That, combined with his plus glove should partially negate his horrendous postseason display at the plate.
Still, as is noted above, Scott Boras is out of his mind comparing Drew to Choo and Ellsbury. This is what Boras does, though, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
The Mets have been linked to both Drew and Jhonny Peralta, and it seems like both of them will be in the club’s price range. Most in the industry think Peralta can be had for two years, while Drew will command a three year deal. Signing Drew would also mean giving up a draft pick (not the Mets’ first rounder, of course).
I’m partial to Drew because of the defensive value he brings, but as was written a few days ago, Peralta is a solid option as well.