UPDATE, 5:44 PM -
The road is still leading back to Boston, unless something develops soon where the floodgates open for a shortstop. We thought it might be the Mets, but now they’re not willing to commit the years and the dollars. The Mets, like the Red Sox, would likely go for a one-year commitment. The Mets and agent Scott Boras have discussed parameters but no firm numbers. Right now, the Mets plan on going back to Ruben Tejada. There’s always the Yankees, but Drew has never played anywhere but shortstop. He would be a great fit there if it wasn’t for Derek Jeter, and right now Jeter doesn’t appear to be moving off shortstop.
Everything in the above blurb is editorializing, save for the fact that the Mets and Scott Boras have discussed Drew, but haven’t talked numbers. Cafardo notes that the Mets aren’t “willing to commit the years and the dollars,” but I don’t think he’s alluding to a refusal to commit two years.
Furthermore, it was reported that the Mets were hesitant to give Curtis Granderson four years, and they did. They then signed Bartolo Colon after they told the media they were done making big acquisitions. Anything they’re saying about Drew could simply be posturing.
If both the Mets and Red Sox refuse to go beyond one year for Drew, he’ll probably end up back in Boston. However, if Boston won’t offer Drew more than a year, the Mets should seriously consider offering two years if it could get a deal done.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE -
According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, Scott Boras is attempting to engage Mets ownership in talks regarding two of his biggest free agent clients – shortstop Stephen Drew and first baseman Kendrys Morales:
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 22, 2013
What jumps out here, is that Boras is attempting to have direct contact with ownership, rather than Mets general manager Sandy Alderson.
Jeff Wilpon is often portrayed as someone who meddles, but he sometimes joins negotiations late in order to get them done. One example is the Johan Santana extension that was negotiated after the trade was agreed upon. Boras going to Wilpon is a smart play on his part.
There are reports that the Mets are unlikely to make another big signing or take on another large contract via trade, but until the roster is set at the end of March, anything can happen.
Kendrys Morales is someone who the Mets, according to Crasnick, have little to no interest in. When you take into account the fact that the Mets have four players currently on the roster who can handle first base (Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Josh Satin, and Wilmer Flores), going after Morale seems pointless.
Signing Stephen Drew may not be likely, but discounting the possibility of the Mets landing Drew (whose market is apparently non-existent, and whose signing would mean a net payroll increase of about $8 million if the team deals Ike Davis) is foolhardy.
The Mets noted while the Bartolo Colon signing was in the works that they were probably done making big moves. They have since stated that a shortstop upgrade via trade is far likelier than one via free agency. That may be true, or it may be a negotiating ploy.
Drew’s case is an interesting one. His market hasn’t developed as Scott Boras thought it would, and there appear to be only two teams who are currently interested in his services – the Red Sox and the Mets.
With the Red Sox prepared to go with prospect Xander Bogaerts at shortstop, and with both Will Middlebrooks and Jonathan Herrera on the roster, Drew may not be in their plans any longer. Even if he is, there is no indication that the Red Sox are willing to give Drew a deal longer than two years.
If the Mets signed Drew, it would result in a modest payroll increase, but their payroll would still be under $100 million. It would also mean a shortstop upgrade on both sides of the ball, and would put an exclamation point on an offseason that has seen them land Chris Young, Curtis Granderson, and Bartolo Colon.