Oct 30, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; (Editors note: Caption correction) Boston Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew (7) cannot get to the single by St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter (13) during the third inning of game six of the MLB baseball World Series at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

To Sign or Not to Sign?

Never before have I been as unsure as to a move the Mets could make.

Stephen Drew has brought me to this point.

When the off-season started, Drew was atop the list of free agents for the Mets to acquire, it just made sense. The Mets needed a shortstop and Drew played shortstop.

The Mets had other needs to fill, and they made signings to fill them. The Curtis Granderson, Chris Young and Bartolo Colon signings were fantastic.  I was sold on all three. But Drew has been a weird case.

Countless number of articles, even some on this site, documented what Drew could (or couldn’t) add to the 2014 Mets team. They swayed me back to be on Tejada’s side.

Now it’s spring training and I’m back to being on the fence. Stephen Drew remains unsigned and it seems he either is a Met or he goes back to Boston. Sandy Alderson said earlier this week that signing a big name free agent seemed “unlikely”. So that puts the Mets in their current state, with Ruben Tejada as the starting shortstop.  If asked in the beginning of the off-season if that would be okay with most Mets fans, the answer would be a resounding no.

Is committing $10 million for one season of Drew really the better option? It seems that’s the position Alderson and the Mets are put in. Tejada has the ability to be an average offensive shortstop, with above average defense. That would be serviceable and exactly what the Mets are looking for. But, in a season where a team has some holes, being able to enter a season with a limited number of holes is crucial to success. If signing Drew for one season is able to make first base and outfield the only “problem areas”, then go do it. Pay Drew the $10 million dollars.

2014 is supposed to be the year the turn-around of the New York Mets happens. For that to occur, the Mets need to win more games and build for the future. Stephen Drew can help you win more games. Or maybe he can’t.

Ask me today, the Mets should sign Stephen Drew. That may change tomorrow. Who knows? But, that’s why I’m not in Sandy Alderson’s position.

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Tags: New York Mets Stephen Drew

  • Joe.02

    I think you are in the minority if you think the signing of CY was “fantastic” unless the money is ignored.

    As to the “ability” of Tejeda, it would help, you know, if he actually showed up to camp etc. It’s hard to rely on the guy — even his overall upside would be a decent 2B and he has not shown that yet consistently. Oh well.

  • Bill

    Two comments here – first, a follow-up to Joe.02. I am in the Chris Schubert’s camp on the CY signing, although my word is ‘solid’ rather than ‘fantastic’. I don’t believe anybody was dancing when they signed Marlon Byrd last year (albeit for a lot less $$), but look what happened there. For some reason, I have always been a Chris Young fan and have a feeling he will have a very good year in 2014.

    Next, on the subject of the article. This is an interesting article mostly because I also am on the fence with this one. There have been many blogs written in the past 2 or 3 months extolling the virtues of signing Drew and solidifying the shortstop position. At the beginning of the off-season, I was in favor of signing Peralta, but when he got that kind of money from St. Louis, I breathed a sigh of relief. I was never in favor of signing Drew – he is just not that good for those dollars to be considered a great improvement. As I am not a Tejada fan either, I did not look at this as a Tejada vs. Drew discussion. My viewpoint has been that the Mets are definitely in dire need of improvement at the 6 position, but there are other options out there via trade. It will be very interesting to see what Arizona does with Gregorius if/when Owings shows he is ready (most likely this spring), and also interesting to see how Seattle’s infield is settled – Miller and Franklin appear to be two players for one position. I like any of the four of them better than either Tejada or Drew. It seems that if the Mets were to lose the draft pick and spend some money on a free agent, they should look at signing a pitcher (Ubaldo Jimenez is the one I have in mind), then package up Gee, Montero and Tejada and get one of the four shortstops back. I think that trio might do it for either Arizona or Seattle. It would also be interesting to see if Texas might talk about some of their extra infielders, although their two best prospects (Sardinas and Odor) are not yet major league ready.

    As far as being on the fence on Drew, that has just happened very recently. At this point, I would not be terribly upset if they signed him for one year for $6 or $7M max, altho giving up the draft pick (even a 3 pick) for just one year is iffy. I wouldn’t go more than 7 mil – he just doesn’t bring that much to the table.

    Lastly, I’m interested in watching the Mets two young shortstops – Cecchini and Rosario. I’m not sold on Cecchini as a top ten team prospect and doubt he’ll ever be a franchise keeper, but Rosario is an intriguing player at this point, but still years away. Also Dilson Herrera as a youngster is worth watching – altho he is a 2nd baseman at the present time.

  • chums41

    I’m still shocked that Met fans are unwilling to have a look at Flores for shortstop this spring. Everyone opines on his inability to play the spot, but based on what? Can anyone claim to have scouted Flores playing short in 2011 and state emphatically that he would be a disaster? The kid worked hard this winter on speed and agility drills; the first time in his life in which he had ever undertaken this type of training. While I can’t speak for Wilmer’s improvement, I can attest that the program delivers improvement, markedly in some cases. Before we spend $10mm on Drew in an opt-out contract no less, let’s take a good hard look at Flores fielding the SS position. Wilmer Flores has a very high ceiling at the plate and has been in the Mets system since he was 16. Let’s give him a 2 week audition before making any decisions. I suspect Drew will still be around.

    • Bill

      I could be OK with this – he started in the system as a shortstop, but I think it was thought that he didn’t have enough speed or agility to stay there. If the Michigan program helped, let’s give him another shot. I agree with a short two-three week trial to see what he looks like there. He’s gotta be a better offensive option than Tejada.

    • chums41

      Thank you Bill

  • Herb G

    Chums, we’re at it again, beating the same dead horse. Wilmer will get his reps at SS this spring, have no fear. At this stage, however, we both know that his range is suspect, and it would be foolhardy to pin our hopes on him and pass on Drew. The best case scenario is that Drew is signed and is at short on opening day, Wilmer plays well in the field in spring training and gets lots of work at both SS and 1B in Vagas while hitting the crap out of the ball. And then, come July, Drew gets traded and Flores gets called up. What’s wrong with that picture?

    • Bill

      What I see wrong with that picture is that there if there is no market for Drew NOW, how the heck is there going to be a market for him in July? He will show that he is a year older, his power is diminished in Citi Field and he won’t be fielding over his head like he did for a bit last year. There are too many ‘spare’ shortstops out there for him to be a viable trade chit. I still think one of the Arizona guys, one of the Seattle guys, or one of the Texas guys are the ones to get and build with. At the trade deadline, I suspect all of the 2014 free agents will be on the market – I’d rather have Cabrerra, Lowrie, or Hardy than Drew. Drew ain’t gonna make a playoff difference for any team.

    • Herb G

      Bill, Drew played all star caliber shortstop for the BoSox last year. His market is greatly hampered by the loss of a draft pick now, but that will not be the case in July. And if Drew has a strong start to this season, he will be in demand. I have a feeling that the A’s are going to extend Lowrie, and The O’s might do the same with Hardy. The price for any of them who are on the market could be high, in terms of prospects.

      Would I have preferred to trade for one of Seattle’s or Arizona’s kids? Sure! (Texas’ surplus evaporated when they traded Kinsler.) Don’t you think Sandy tried that route? He doesn’t seem to be inclined to give up any of our top pitching prospects, and that would probably be the price for a stellar, young shortstop like Miller, Owings, Franklin or Gregorius. Would you give them Syndergaard or Montero?

      What’s that saying? A bird in the hand is worth two on somebody elses roster? You don’t really know who will be available in July or after the season. Right now, Drew is the best available option, and I think Sandy should (and probably will) sign him when the deal comes to him. You say he won’t make a playoff difference, but with the strong defense up the middle that he provides, if he has a .260, 15 HR season, he’d be a huge upgrade over Tejada. And we have to stop dreaming that Flores can be the starting shortstop out of spring training. It’s just too big a long shot.