Scouting the Trade Market: Stephen Drew

Yankees will explore third base trade market
Swisher felt fine in batting cage, may not return until Saturday
(Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

They’re going with Ramiro Pena for at least today, but given the current situation we can expect the Yankees to explore the market for a third baseman. Even at the near end of the six-to-eight week projected recovery period, Alex Rodriguez would be ready for a minor league rehab assignment on September 5th. If it takes any longer he could miss the chance at a rehab window, making his return even tougher.

The Yankees do have options at third base, as Mike wrote this morning. In the Outside Help section he mentioned a few interesting names. We’ve already covered Marco Scutaro, and he’s easily an option. But another name really stood out to me: Stephen Drew. Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick spoke ill of Drew recently, so perhaps he’ll be on the move before July 31st.

The Pros

  • Drew has been an average hitter throughout his major league career, producing a 97 OPS+ through 3,156 PA. That’s the exact sOPS+ of AL third basemen this year.
  • He’s a free agent after this year, so there’s no long-term worry of what to do with him once A-Rod returns.
  • While the Diamondbacks might not want to concede a playoff spot, they’ve been playing mediocre ball this year and might want to get anything they can for Drew.
  • The Yankees could use a left-handed bat, since playing Eric Chavez against every righty is risky.

The Cons

  • Drew is coming off a pretty bad ankle injury and has a .556 OPS in 17 games since returning. He didn’t exactly hit well in his rehab assignment, either (power numbers in the PCL don’t really count).
  • While a merely average bat can be valuable, it’s tough to justify trading anyone of importance for said average bat. Especially when that average bat will be gone after the season.
  • The Diamondbacks could be less willing to deal him now that they have dealt Ryan Roberts, says Jack Magruder of
  • Despite Drew’s overall averageness, his poor production this year, and his recent injury, GM Kevin Towers has said that he hasn’t found a deal for Drew “that’s going to make us better.” The Yankees don’t have many, if any, expendable pieces that can help Arizona right now.
  • Transitioning from SS to 3B, especially mid-season, can’t be easy.

As it turns out, the name stood out to me more because of the name value than the actual player value. Given the market conditions right now, the Yanks probably don’t have any interest in Drew. Name value just doesn’t translate.

Yankees will explore third base trade market
Swisher felt fine in batting cage, may not return until Saturday
  • Kosmo

    I see Drew as a SS not a 3B. His MLB career has been something of a disappointment. He´s still only 29. If he could post numbers like he did in 2008 and 2010 then he would be a valuable pickup for teams looking for an everyday SS .

    • yooboo

      Like Diamondbacks are in hurry to dump Drew. Pass indeed.

  • OldYanksFan

    I don’t know if Nunez is up for this. The only positive is that he would play the same position, and probably bat the same in the order, every day. Frankly, if he can be an average fielder, the downgrade is not horrific, as Nuney should post a .700 – .750 OPS, compared to ARod’s .800.

    • yooboo

      Since we still have one spot open on 40 man roster. Kevin Russo.

      If Yanks could not find a veteran help then which an internal player is more suitable?

      Russo offers a decent offense and defense.

      Nunez offers better offense.

      Pena offers better defense.

      Laird offers a decent offense. Can’t play SS.

  • yooboo

    Are Tigers still interested in Drew?

  • Dixon Hurbut

    I blame Ichoro for jinxing Arod. They were just not meant to play on the same team.

    • Marcy

      Funny, I’m just blaming the Mariners in general – from the Lee trade to the no-Lee trade, to the Montero/Pineda mess of a trade to this.
      I love Seattle but I hate the Mariners. They should just donate a player w/right-handed pop (all expenses paid.)

      They owe us!

      And yes I know I sound like a baby.

  • William

    I like drew. How bout Betances and heathcott for him?

    • Tcmiller30

      I wouldn’t do either of them for him. Let alone the pair. Drew isn’t an upgrade right now over what we could bring up to replace arod in my opinion.

    • MannyGeee

      you know this is Stephen Drew, right? Thats a proper package for JD Drew, but not Stephen…

      • MannyGeee

        Sarcasm obviously implied…

  • Gonzo

    I can’t wait for Casey Blake’s agent to say Casey has been keeping himself in shape and feels better now than anytime in the past few years.

    • Chris in Maine

      HaHa +1

    • the Other Steve S.

      MIKE LOWELL!!!

  • jjyank



  • Get Phelps Up

    Is he really a significant enough upgrade (if an upgrade at all) over one of Nunez, Laird, CoJo or Mustiller when healthy? I don’t think so. If they want to make a trade, make a big splash for someone like Headley. Otherwise I’d much rather just stick with the internal options.

    • jjyank

      Yup. My thought process as well.

    • yooboo

      Girardi had been trying to get Mustieller aboard but Yanks postponed his MLB debut. Now, he is on the DL when we need him.

      Timing sucks.

    • Chris in Maine

      agree, Headley can play the OF as well as third, so perhaps this move could settle the RF question for next year as well. What would it take, though? I don’t know what the Padre’s system lacks. Mason Williams plus another couple of A prospects do the trick?

      • yooboo

        It is hard to figure it out but I think they have tendency of one prospect per position a time. They have a stud 2B/SS in Jonathan Galvez and a stud catcher in Yasmani Grandal. I figure to bolster the depth with young MLB ready players for those area.

        It does not matter now because Headley is about to be traded now.

      • RetroRob

        You want to give up Mason Williams and two other A-level prospects for Headley? Or are you talking A ball prospects?

        If they’re going to move Williams, package for a higher-level player than Headley.

  • Jacob

    Screw it sign me up I could play a litte third, better offense than martin lmao

  • Soriano is a Liar

    Just play David Phelps and Freddy Garcia at third base, problem solved

    • nyc sports!

      wait soriano lied about something? google search didnt find something, or is it just a meme i missed?

  • jayd808

    That’s “Phelpsie” to you. As in “I’m thinking of giving Phelpsie a shot at it.” I’m surprised at Joe’s lack of imagination here. If the CashMagic can get us Ichiro for an outfielder, why not David Wright at third? Doesn’t he want to join the postseason fun like Ichiro?

    On a serious note, I’d been pulling for Arod to make a second half comeback and hitting .350 with a few deep drives and a HR had made that seem possible. Hate to see the big guy down. Keep him suited up and his head in the game or he’ll reinjure himself with a couple of WorldWide Wrestling hookers.


    What about Aramis Ramirez? He sgned for 3yrs with brewers, but is more then halfway through yr 1, and if we can let ichiro walk at end of the yr, and keep 34yr old Aramis, and let him DH, and play 3rd when or if Alex gets hurt or needs days off, and possibly try him in LF, and see ifhe can be decent out there..It’d be great, to get some more Right handed thump in the lineup.. We don’t know when Anruw JOnes is gonna leave or lose it, as he ages even more..

    If the brewers are getting rid of grienke, there willing to give up a mid 30’s player not in the longterm future..

    Aramis Ramirez would be a heck of a bat to add to this lineup..

    I have no idea if this makes sense, just thinking out

    Maybe a package of Phelps, Cojo and michael o’brien..

    • yooboo

      Aramis Ramirez is a hard head dude. He has a no trade clause. He does what he pleasures to do. Okay to trade with Yanks will always be welcome by me.

      • Marcy

        He and A-Rod = not good.

        • jjyank

          Not true.

  • http://none Favrest

    Why is Headley so sought after? His numbers seem pretty boring.

    • yooboo

      So was Nick Swisher when he joined with Yanks.

      • RetroRob

        Probably not a good compare. Swisher had an off year, but the two prior years were good, including a 35 HR season. Headley’s numbers are masked to some degree by Petco. Yet his career .299 BA on the road is built on the back of a .370 BABIP line. Just as it’s fair to expect him to hit better away from Petco, it’s also fair to expect an overall regression on his road stats taking into account his BABIP.

        If I had to guess, he’s probably something like a .275/.335/.440 hitter awat from the Padres. Solid, but nothing to mortgage the farm over. I’d like Headley on the Yankees, but the price is probably goint to be too high.

        • yooboo

          Statistic itself, Swisher killed Headley. I know.

          When Yanks got Swisher, many scouts or whoever thought Swisher would begin to decline for good. It turned out Yanks got victory.

          So Swisher was technically boring and Headley has boring statistic to show off.

          BABIP is of no importance to me. If away statistic is down due to high BABIP then his home at YS3 has to be higher than Petco’ home BABIP, which is over 300.

          • Jim Is Bored

            That last paragraph must be some form of english from the year 1250.

    • jjyank

      147 wRC+ this year away from San Diego.

    • Preston

      great defense, people think his offense is supressed by Petco.

      • jjyank

        It is. His career wOBA away from petco is 56 points higher.

        • yooboo

          LF defense is that bad but he should be better than Swisher at RF. 3B defense is sound.

          Headley is already 28 years old and never has hit 20 hrs a season. Swisher did it regularly.

          Headley does steal bases. Swisher rarely went for that job.

          He will be a good addition to the lineup but him replacing either Arod or Swisher is questionable. I would like take that risk but who knows.

          • jjyank

            I didn’t mention replacing Swisher at all. Just said that he’d probably be much better away from Petco. Introducing Swisher into the conversation was your own doing.

            • yooboo

              Comparison of strength between Headley, Swisher and Arod.

              Headley wont be as productive as either Arod or Swisher whenever Headley plays 3b or RF this year and next year.

          • RetroRob

            As OFers, the differences between Swisher and Headley on the defensive scale are quite stark, and they favor Swisher. Replacing Swisher in the OF with Headley would cost the Yankees two wins per season on defense.

            • yooboo

              While you are at it, please give us a math for Swisher when he was A’s and White Sox. Headley never plays in YS3 so we don’t know for sure.

              Headley has speed and range with arm strength. All of them are better than Swisher. Swisher is tough against wall but I can’t say the same for Headley for now.

              • RetroRob

                Headley rates out at approximately -17 as a LFer, all as a Padre. Swisher in LF on the A’s rated out at slightly above a +2. As a White Sox, he rated out in LF a little short of +7. Overall he rates out in LF at over +10 for his career. Comparing the two as LFers, Headley projects to cost his team 2.5 wins compared to Swisher.

                Swisher was a #1 draft pick, 16th overall in the nation, orginally signed as a CFer. That’s the weakest of his defensive positions, so he has wisely moved to RF where he has consistently rated out as a plus OF. He is not a great defensive OFer, but he is solid. Headley needs to Hubble Telescope to even see solid. Headley was signed for thirdbase, a position he played through most of the minors. He was forced to the OF at the end of he minor league career as a way for him to make the Padres and that’s where he played for most of his first two years in the majors. He was horrible and hasn’t appeared out there in three years.

                My point is that Swisher is a better defensive OFer than Headley. I’m fine for bringing in Headley, but he needs to be used properly, and making him a RF, a position he’s never played, is to plan for failure. Even if he could match what Swisher has done offensively as a Yankee, he will be in the hole by at least two wins compared to Swisher just based on the glove. Headley takes poor routes to balls and has shown very bad instincts as an OFer. On one thing defensive metrics and scouts agree on is Headley is not an OFer.

                If the Yankees were to aqcuire him they should figure out the proper split at 3B and DH time between A-Rod and Headley. Considering A-Rod’s age and increasing injury time, Headley would be a wise addition, but not as an OFer. Swisher should not even be part of this discussion.

        • Preston

          I agree that it is, and he will hit for more power for another team. I’m just not ready to put a lot of stock in the idea that his wOBA is going to be 56 points higher.

  • jayd808

    And BTW I’m still pissed at your silly “Sweaty Freddie” gibes. It’s anti-Yankee BS and I hope it costs you a dream interview someday. Goddamned 30-something horse shit. Freddie’s going to pull that Yankee cap off your ugly head and cram it up your sweaty ass. Just sayin’. But keep up the good work on the rest of it. And it’s Placido Polanco BTW. The Dominican Opera Singer. We don’t want Jete looking at some 26 year old ex-SS. Bad enough having to play with Cano.

    • jjyank


    • Jim Is Bored

      This might be my favorite comment of the week.

      • G


        Step away from the PCP…

    • jsbrendog

      MOM!!!! THE MEATLOAF!!


  • Jersey Joe


  • yooboo

    Wow… It is fucking hard to get a decent 3b or RF without losing good prospect.

    For 2014 budget, it is basically either Upton, Granderson, Bruce, Ar. Ramirez and Headley. Headley is presumably cheap due to arb eligible but he can make 12mm for that year easily.

    Lets hope Chavez does not get injury anytime.

    • Gonzo

      I think the addition of an extra wildcard has decreased the amount of sellers. Supply and demand.

      • yooboo

        Yeah, only selling high priced player works that way. Padres situation is interesting because Headley is not that expensive and Padres look like a long shot to make it.

  • Preston

    Drew isn’t hitting, and has never played 3b, that doesn’t make me optimistic about him being a positive contributor to the team. The best bet is probably a Nunez/Chavez platoon.

  • Matt

    Realizing the post is about Drew, but just to quickly respond to the comment above about why so many folks would be high on Chase Headley:

    *Solid, if not glaringly spectacular, career .330 wOBA and 111 wRC+

    *at age 28, has been trending upwards offensively – .344 wOBA and 125 wRC+ in 2011, nearly identical .344 wOBA and 124 wRC+ this season

    *Switch hitter who, while stronger against RHPs, hangs in there against LHPs. Career .336 wOBA, 114 WRC+ v. RHPs and .311 wOBA, 98 wRC+ v. LHPs

    *Away from PetCo, he really starts to look like a guy who can rake; career road line of .357 wOBA and 129 wRC+.

    *Looking into that road line further, first, it’s consistent – he’s never hit for lower than a 114 wRC+ on the road in a single season. And he’s getting better. 2011 and 2012 on the road – 147 wRC+.

    *While his career line at Petco isn’t strong (not shockingly), he’s also hit progressively better at home recently and holds his own even in that park. .313 wOBA and 103 wRC+ in 2012, .309 wOBA and 101 wRC+ in 2011.

    *Whether we trust them or not, across the board, the advanced defensive metrics rank him year in, year out, as an outstanding 3B.

    *There’s at least some chance he can play the OF. Granted, he hasn’t played out there since 2009, and his UZR as a leftfielder aren’t good. But he’s played some 1700 innings out there in his career.

    *Guy actually has a little bit of speed and seems to use it efficiently. Over the past three seasons, he’s swiped a total of 40 bags on 49 attempts.

    *He’s 28, entering his peak.

    *For now, he’s still cheap. $3.5m this year, arb eligible one more time, so you’re getting him for great value at least through 2013. And he’d become a free agent just in time for 2014, giving the Yanks some time, and another option to look at, in terms of who to keep long term.

    There are cons on Headley of course. And if he’s available, it’ll be for a heavy price. You probably know from the tone of this post that I think he’d be worth surrendering a significant haul for – but obviously not the outrageous, gut the farm kind of deal it’ll probably take.

    • Matt

      Sorry, that was even a little bit of a “quick” response. My bad for being long and somewhat off-topic.

      • RetroRob

        Yeah, was gonna say, what would your long response look like! : -)

        Headley would be a solid addition, and as I noted above, a wise one considering A-Rod’s age and increasing missing time. The Yankees have been backing up a 3B’man in A-Rod who has become injury prone with Chavez, who basically has his own wing on the DL. That’s a problem waiting to happen.

  • yooboo
  • Robinson Tilapia

    Been too busy to chime in on any of this.

    First of all, really tough break. The talk of retaliation from the Yanks was embarassing, though.

    I don’t think the stretch drive is time to fuck around with “What can Corban Joseph do?” or something of that sort. We were already talking the need for an upgrade at UTL before. It’s time to take that even more seriously, especially someone who can play third. Someone will need to spell Chavez if he is expected to play every day for a couple of months.

    This still leads me to a Scutaro/Wiggington type as the answer. Just my $0.02 on the matter.

    • RetroRob

      I hope whatever talk of retaliation was coming from posters here, not the Yankees, who seemed to all indicate they didn’t think it was intentional. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if some Mariner went down even if the Yankees are confident there was no intention. Three players being hit, a star injured, and another getting dusted all in one game almost always leads to retaliation at some point.

      As for CoJo, agreed. He hasn’t played third since 2009 and it was not a pretty experience. I don’t see them putting him there now on the MLB level.