Stephen Drew would make sense for Yankees

Stephen Drew would make sense for Yankees
May 10, 2014, 6:45 pm
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No team has yet signed two prominent free agents who have been out there since the offseason began — shortstop Stephen Drew and designated hitter Kendrys Morales. That’s likely to change in a little less than a month, however.

As Rob Neyer writes at, baseball’s rules dictate that any team signing Drew or Morales would surrender its top pick in the amateur draft (unless it’s a top 10 choice), something that obviously has kept some clubs from making a deal for either. However, an oddity of this rule is that, after the draft, no one has to give up a pick for signing a free agent. The draft is June 5-7.

If you were a team that really needed one of these players, then, you might do well to try working a deal before others jump into the bidding once the draft passes. Neyer makes the case that such a team is the New York Yankees with Drew.

“The Yankees’ shortstops … rank 20th in the majors in OPS. ... Considering [Derek] Jeter’s well-documented lack of range afield, does anyone really care to argue that he’s one of the 20 best shortstops in the majors at this point?” Neyer writes. “One of the 25 best? That, I think, is a tough case to make. Unless you’re convinced that Jeter just hasn’t yet played to his 40-year-old, coming-off-a-serious-injury abilities.”

So why shouldn’t the Yankees go hard after Drew — and right away? All that talk about staying under the luxury-tax threshold turned out to be just talk. But what about losing a draft pick if they make a deal before June 5? No biggie. The Yankees’ highest draft selection is No. 56. That’s not much of a sacrifice.

So it makes a lot of sense for them to sign Drew and let Jeter be a part-time shortstop during his farewell tour. Put him at DH. Who knows, maybe that would help the farewell tour extend into October.