King: Stephen Drew and Paul Maholm are on Yankees’ radar

MLBTR's Projected Arbitration Salaries
What Went Wrong: Eduardo Nunez

Via George King: Both shortstop Stephen Drew and left-hander Paul Maholm are among the impending free agents on the Yankees’ radar for the upcoming offseason. The team may reportedly be in position to drop about $300M on player contracts this winter, part of which figures to go to re-signing Robinson Cano. The Yankees have a rather long list of needs, obviously.

Drew, 30, hit .253/.333/.403 (109 wRC+) with 13 homers and six steals in 501 plate appearances while playing solid if not above-average defense for the Red Sox this summer. The Yankees actually offered him more money than Boston last winter, but he turned it down due to questions about his playing time and Derek Jeter‘s ankle. Unfortunately, those same questions still exist. There’s a decent chance the Red Sox will made Drew a qualifying offer, entitling them to draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere.

Maholm, 31, had a typical Paul Maholm year for the Braves this year, with a 4.41 ERA (4.24 FIP) in 153 innings. He was just dreadful in the second half (5.73 ERA and 4.75 FIP) while battling an elbow problem. Maholm is a high ground ball (51.3%) guy who has seen his strikeout rate tick up a bit these last two years, but it still isn’t good (6.18 K/9 and 15.7 K%). I actually like Maholm more than most but he is the quintessential back-end innings eater. That’s it. I’d take a shot on him if his market dries up but he isn’t someone I would target right out of the chute in free agency.

MLBTR's Projected Arbitration Salaries
What Went Wrong: Eduardo Nunez
  • Adam

    Paul Maholm? Start planning the parade!

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I’ll take “Things said every off-season about a different player” for $100, Alex.

      • Pablo San Lucas

        I’ll take “Doesn’t understand sarcasm.” for $400, Alex

        • Mr. Roth

          I’ll take, “Trying to use sarcasm to point out someone elses lack of understanding of sarcasm, while not actually understanding sarcasm yourself” for $1000, Alex.


    • Dbombz

      Remember Jimmy Key, he wasn’t the greatest either when we got him but boy did he step up when we needed him. Wasnt a big acquisition but paid off big time. I see a similar pitching style. Us fans like to talk about the person that cant take the hype in playing with the Yankees but then you have players like Jimmy Key and Another like Paul O’Neil, who werent big stars but made a name for themselves here.

      • Karen W.

        Jimmy Key’s ERA was an ENTIRE RUN lower than Maholm and it was while pitching in the AL East.

        Add the usual half a run for a pitcher going from the NL to the AL and you’re looking at a 5 ERA.

      • Balt Yank

        Jimmy Key, he was an excellent pitcher from Toronto who came to the Yankees later in his career. This pitcher in the article is a loser, 440 era in NL with bad second half. The Drew shortstop is a joke. I mean, the guy is lucky to be in the majors with his average defense and sad batting skills. I would play nunez over drew, at least nunez hits with power sometimes. If the Yankees are thinking about players like this, they are thinking horribly wrong. Go with good players or rookies.

  • nsalem

    Under our present circumstances I can’t see how an established MLB shortstop who is wanted by other teams would choose to come to the Yankees. Ditto third base,

    • I’m One

      Unfortunately, I agree.

      • Chris Z.

        They could be trying to drive up the price on other players. Everyone knows the Yanks would have to sign a SS to a long term deal if they target someone who is a starter. I bet they want the price and years to rise on Drew to lock him into Boston. It also raises the chances that everyone goes after Drew and they slip in and get someone else they want.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          It’s also just a wish list, and we have no clue how much of a wide net this speculation represents.

          It could be that Drew is one of five infielders they’re keeping tabs on. It could be that Maholm is one of eight starters.

          I understand Paul Maholm being an underwhelming name, but there’s a strong positive to be taken from this: they’re looking at free agency in a bigger way this off-season, and they’re talking it pretty early on.

          • I’m One

            Others might say that they’re looking at the scrap heep earlier in the off-season this year.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Those guys would be likely to say that if the players being discussed were anything short of Mike Trout.

              Maholm’s not sexy. He should be somewhere on your big master board, though, and isn’t exactly looking at scrap heap fodder.

            •!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

              Drew is not a scrap heap player. He’s well outside the Wells’, Hafner’s, and Overbay’s of the world. So is Maholm for that matter.

              • Joe Picillo

                They are looking at Maholm because he is a decent left-handed starter who should be reasonably enough priced to fit into the $189 Million plan. And he’s a ground-ball pitcher which is important at Yankee Stadium.

          •!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

            “…there’s a strong positive to be taken from this: they’re looking at free agency in a bigger way this off-season, and they’re talking it pretty early on.”


        • nsalem

          I don’t think Drew is in Boston’s future plans.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Still the Yankees.

      The press, and our own fanbase, are going to devalue this franchise’s ability to recover quickly much more than a player will.

      •!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

        Not sure I’m following what you’re saying on this one.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I think fans and writers bend themselves into knots trying to show how the Yanks aren’t the Evil Empire anymore.

          My hunch is that a large number of MLB players will continue to view the Yanks as still hungry to win, always a couple of steps away, having an unparalled history, etc.

          •!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

            Ah ok, I gotcha. I think that it’ll depend on the player. Being that Drew chose to avoid the situation last offseason, there’s a good chance that he’d do the same this time around. The whole prestige thing didn’t work on him, nor did the excess money. I’d think the salary gap would have to be widened for him to consider them this time around, or they’d have to ensure him sufficient playing time.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Yeah. I agree with that on Drew. I just think the Boras/Heyman bullshit is just that and isn’t going to be the prevalent opinion.

              •!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

                I agree. I wonder how much stock players actually put into that stuff too. Obviously the agent will have a say, but if I were a free agent I certainly wouldn’t give a damn what someone like Heyman or anyone else from the media’s opinion on anything was.

      • nsalem

        Im confident we will recover quickly and I am not trying to devalue their ability to do so. I just think that there is to much uncertainty for an established player with choices to come to the Yankees. In the event Derek comes back healthy and A-Rod gets a 50 game suspensions (both of which I believe are reasonable possibilities) someone like Drew would be relegated to a part time role which I don’t think he would accept at age 31. If Jeter announced he wasto spend money on catching,retiring I think Drew would be herein a heartbeat. I am not saying that quality FA’s are going to start shunning the Yankees due to turmoil or that we are an organization in decay.. I am just suggesting that a 3B, SS and for that matter 1B free agent with options maybe hesitant to sign here because they may not have an actual starting role. I think we should also be looking to spend on catching, pitching and the outfield before SS and 3B.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Understood and, on this singular player, I definitely agree it’s a strong possibility.

        •!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

          I agree. This is not an ideal situation for a starting caliber shortstop that will have other options.

    • Adam

      You really have a hard on for me.

      • BFDeal

        That seems to be your standard reply when someone questions your comments.

      • Mr. Roth

        Wishful thinking?

  • vin

    “Past a diving Dr… Wait… huh… he… got to it?”

  • Robinson Tilapia

    You can Paul Maholm on your radar as Option D. That’s about where I think he belongs.

  • steves

    What comes to my mind about Maholm are 2 things:

    1) He is Bob Shirley reincarnated.

    2) Billy Crystal, in his mid-50’s, was able to hit a loud line drive foul against Maholm a couple of spring trainings ago.

    No thanks.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I endorse all of this.

      Knowing all of this, he’d probably pitch to a 3.50 ERA in Boston.

    • MannyGeee

      Obligatory “Billy Crystal can hit LHP better than the 2013 Yankees”…

  • Monty

    I’d much rather Jhonny Peralta over Drew.

    • Travis L.

      I wonder if R-Tils remembers this:

      Trade for Andrew Romine!!!!

      Last season (or the season before) I was all about getting the elder Romine to the Bronx. I still like him better than Nix, both defensively and offensively.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I remember someone talking about it for sure. Yeah.

        How did the elder Romine wind up doing? I do remember him on the field for the Halos at some point.

  • Wolfgang’s Fault

    $300M for the likes of Cano, Drew, Maholm, & others? Talk about chump change.

  • MannyGeee

    So, I am thinking that the Red Sox will NOT offer Drew a QO for the same reason the Yankees do not want to offer Hughes one: They’re afraid Drew might accept, and then you have nowhere to put Xander Boegarts, Wunderkid.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      I don’t think they’d have any trouble trading an above average SS on a 1/$14M deal. I really don’t see much risk there.

      • MannyGeee

        That seems to be alot of moving parts on the slight chance he doesn’t accept and they get a pick in the mid-30s.

        Feels like a video game move to me.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          I think there’s a lot more than just a slight chance that he doesn’t accept.

      • Tom

        I think there would be some issue dealing Drew right away

        1) Selig has said baseball will not allow sign and trades to circumvent the QO pick compensation. I think if he accepted the QO and was then flipped prior to the season, it would be viewed as the trading team trying to avoid the draft pick comp.

        2) I think there might be a restriction on trading someone who signs. I think you may not be able to trade a player signed in the offseason until something like 30 (maybe 45?) days into the season without the players permission. I think this applied to FAs, so I’m not sure if a QO would also fall under this.

        I imagine they could still flip him a couple of months into the year and he would still have good trade value though.

    • Big black

      Boston could put middlebrooks at first boegarts at SS and drew at 3b or vice versa. So it’s no sure bet they wouldn’t offer Drew a QO. I think they will actually


    Enough with the 300MM figure. It’s meaningless. They can give Cano 300MM over 10 years, like he wants and they would have spent 300MM. It’s about how much in AAV they are spending for next year. In reality, given Cano’s demands and likely end point (~200MM), 300MM will actually be low if you factor in JUST them trying for Tanaka (~100MM). Add in a SS, C, outfielder, another 1-2 starters, 2-3 relievers and that figure isn’t close.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      Not necessarily true. A low cost alternative route would be If both catchers come from (take your pick) Murphy, Romine, Cervelli, Stewart; additional outfield is any of Almonte, Mustelier, Garcia, Martinez; shortstop/infielders such as Brendan Ryan, David Adams, Jose Pirella; relievers such as Claiborne, Cabral, Betances, Demel, Whitley, Montgomery, Kahnle, Mitchell, Miller(?), & several others, & a couple of starters from Phelps, Warren, Nuno, & some non-tenders elsewhere. They should be stockpiling as many draft picks as they can while cutting payroll. In 2014-15, field a low cost but hustling/hungry bunch of farmhands & competitive mercenaries who were non-tendered elsewhere & are looking to show what they can do. Use this time wisely to find out which if any of these players can cut it in NY while looking towards 2016 & beyond w/a much more manageable payroll & much younger & higher upside roster to compete for #’s 28 & beyond.

    • Joe Picillo

      Given that the Yanks offer to Cano is said to be 7 years/ $163 million, I’m guessing they max at 8 and 192M. Higher than Tex, highest ever for a 2B’man, but that’s it. As good as he is, Cano is not the best player in the game and has never come all that close to having the offensive numbers of guys like A-Rod, Pujols, Cabrera, Fielder and others in that realm. I’d love to keep him on the team, but not at the expense of the future. Great talent, but shows very little of the “intangibles” that so many players on the world champs of the late 90’s – 2000, had and that Jeter is so well known for.

  • Need Pitching & Hitting

    Maholm doesn’t make much sense to me. They have plenty of back of the rotation candidates. They need to be looking for #1/#2 type starters.

    • nycsportzfan

      Maholm had a Sub 4.00 ERA 4yrs straight before last yr, and his stuff plays well in the stadium. He can really “pitch” and having another lefty in the rotation will be nice. I think he makes a ton of sense when ur gonna spend in many other places.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        “Maholm had a Sub 4.00 ERA 4yrs straight before last yr”

        2 years straight.
        5.10 and 4.44 in the 2 years before that.
        Absolute best case he might be a decent #3 for the Yankees.
        That’s not what they need.
        If they’re going to spend money, especially since the amount they can spend is restricted, they need to fill actual needs.
        Their rotation needs are for a #1 and #2 starter.
        Maholm doesn’t fill those needs.

  • Preston

    I hope he changes his mind, or that the Yankees do something to convince him he’ll play everyday. If I was listing the FA we should be prioritizing it’d be Cano, Kuroda and then Drew, followed by one of Granderson/Beltran and then look at C and mid rotation starters.

  • Jason

    I think Drew would be a fit. Saltalamacchia as well. Jeter cannot play SS, we need to be able to tell him that. He will have to get over it, like Cal Ripken did. Jeter can DH and back up Drew. If not, then I say Brendan Ryan will fit the bill just fine. These may not be sexy picks but they are good fits for the team. That is very important.

    Garza/Tanaka as well. I am not sure Maholm would be suited for the AL East. Garza and Tanaka would stabilize our rotation and Matt has been in our league. Plus we will likely not have to forfeit draft picks for any of these guys.

  • EndlessJose

    Drew isn’t coming here.He didn’t want too this year because Drew knew Jeter would come and push him out of short.Next year will be the same thing with Jeter at 40 forcing the Yankees to have to put him out there everyday while drew would have been huge for us.

    Even the Cuban prospect Adeinis Hechavarria didn’t want to come here because he thought Jeter would never leave even if his 40 and injury prone.

    These big stars and older players like A-Rod and Jeter make Cashman and Girardi job harder.

  • Wolfgang’s Fault

    They should stockpile as many draft picks and prospects as possible. Instead of taking on longterm payroll now, they should be cutting payroll. Offer Granderson a Q/O & if he accepts, sign & deal him; if he signs elsewhere, take the pick. Same goes for Kuroda. Hope CC & Tex reestablish their value & deal both by the trade deadline. Sign Robbie to no more than a 5-6 year deal. If he walks, take the pick. If all of the above happens, move Soriano by the trade deadline or sooner. Sacrifice ’14 in the standings, but use it to find out (more) about, among others, Phelps, Warren, Claiborne, Nuno, Cabral, Betances, Demel, Whitley, Montgomery, Kahnle, Mitchell, Adams, Jose Pirela, Andrew Clark, Kyle Roller, Almonte, Mustelier, Garcia, Martinez, Heathcott, Murphy, Romine, and assorted veterans from within & without and non-tenders from elsewhere.

    Consider resigning either/or (both) Hughes & Chamberlain & make sure their off-season conditioning includes shoulder strengthening program similar to or exactly like that developed by Tom House. Consider carrying 3 catchers in 2014 w/both Romine & Murphy sharing the starting catcher gig (Girardi & Tony Pena give these two a huge leg up in handling staff). Find value where it presents itself & if deals you can’t say no to arise, name that tune. Do the best you can for 2014 & ’15 while keeping payroll down & manageable. Franchise goal should be (close to or actually) having a young, talented, cost effective W/S competitive club & foundation by 2016-17 or thereabouts & for years to come.

    Long range, invest as much as necessary to insure amateur & Int’l scouting dept. is second to none & as wide ranging, thorough, & effective as possible, & that player development system %’s improve considerably from that presently. Take scouting and development as seriously as they claim they do about winning championships. Scout & know as much about all MLB & foreign professional league franchises & their players as those teams know about themselves & their players. Commit to something along these lines, & for a fraction of that $300M listed above, they’ll be a better, more interesting, & more competitive franchise for years (decades) to come.

    • Joe Picillo

      Considering that since 1995, the Yankees have been drafting in the bottom 8 every year but 2009, they’ve actually done well to have the farm system rank where it does, often between 10-15 in MLB. Could they have done better? Yes. I personally believe the problem has been in developing their players, the best examples being Joba and Phil, and in tagging away young players they should have continued to develop, such as Austin Jackson, Tyler Clippard and others. Put Stick back in charge of the draft, player development and player trades and let him do his thing, Before you know it we’ll have a new core of home grown WS Champs!

  • bouton56

    Call me crazy, but Brendan Ryan was a .250 hitter in his Cardinal years and his first Seattle season (2011), all as a regular. Yes, his bat’s been awful for two years, but he’s barely older than Drew and is the greatest fielding shortstop alive. Given that he might return to .250 form and that he’ll be cheaper (and would accept a bench role), isn’t he a better choice than the average-afield Drew? Nothin’ wrong with having amazing defense at SS.

    • Preston

      Andrelton Simmons is the best defensive SS alive.

    • Sayann

      I don’t call you crazy at all i say you’re damn right ;)

      i really liked Ryans’ defense and attitude, and maybe with a better batting coach he could get better, he wasn’t that bad in the end of the season, he even had a few clutch hits..

  • nycsportzfan

    I’d rather bring Brendan Ryan back. He looked like a capable hitter for us and his defense was great. He seems like he could be one of those really big bargains we’ve gotten since the good yrs began back in 1993.

    Yanks always seem to of had a few bargains on there teams that WON , and I could see Brendan Ryan for sure, being one of those types if he returns. I don’t think spending on Stephen Drew is the way to go.

    As for Maholm, i like the idea of bringing him in. He could be a stud in Yankee Stadium and i like that hes lefty and can “pitch” and dosen’t rely soley on throwing hard. If we can add Tanaka and Maholm to CC , Nova, and maybe Kuroda? for one more yr, we’d have a nice rotation.

  • nycsportzfan

    This rotation could be playoff type.

    CC Sabathia
    Kuroda(come back!)

    Phelps, Nuno, and Warren as depth.

  • nycsportzfan

    People need to remember, alot of the moves that got Sox from worst to first is under the radar, mid pack FA types. Not all big FA guys. Maholm and guys like that are smart, savy, FA sighnings. I endorse that move 100pct if it happens.

  • Wayne

    To lose 18th pick for signing drew just does not seem worth it. Red Sox make it to World Series and get 18 th pick in the draft. Talk about having your cake and eating it too!

  • Dave James

    The Yankees would be crazy to hang onto Cano and Cano would be crazy to stay in New York. He’s going to cost way more than he’s worth, maybe not now but certainly in a couple of years. Seems to me we would have learned our lesson about that. If you’re Cano, you’re smart enough to see the handwriting on the wall with respect to the team’s ability to be competitive. Why not go someplace where you have a serious chance to win?

    I really think Yankee fans have got to blow off the next couple of years while the team gets its house in order. Fans will be patient as long as they feel there’s movement in the right direction. Realistically, it’ll be 2016 or 2017 before you can expect much.

  • Rod Scurry

    Drew can be signed, Yanks just need to think creatively and change their pitch. The 2014 season will obviously be Jeter’s last. This being the case, one of two things could happen: 1) Jeter could become the everyday DH with Drew taking over at SS for the next three-to-four years; or, 2) Drew takes over at 3B for 2014 only and moves over to SS after Jeter retires. I like the first option, personally. Mark Reynolds showed a better-than-average glove in the Bronx, and I love the idea of his 20 homers in the bottom third of the line-up (even with the 190 whiffs). I think the Yanks understand now that Nunez is not everyday SS material and have begun thinking about the post-Jeter era.

  • tommy casssella

    say wolfgang, I couldn’t disagree with you more. to begin, joba and hughes don’t even deserve any consideration about staying with the yanks, they both should be gone. as for their catching situation, the yanks had to have the worst hitting catchers in baseball this year.i would much rather have yogi berra catching, the yogi of today.

  • Looper

    Nunez as SS on defense is much better on the second half season. I do not think
    it is wise to spend any money on SS, at least at this point. There are many spots the Yankees need to fill. (1) Starting pitchers, they need 3 more solid pitchers,
    without them, do not even think about 2014 playoffs. (2) They need a good catcher
    with great catching and batting. (3) They need a powerful DH. Never ever underestimate the role from DH. Red Sox is probably nothing without David Ortiz.
    (4) They need a great 3B. (5) They need a right-handed powerful outfield. (6)
    They need 2 more solid relievers. Until all of those solved, then think about SS.

  • LemDaGem

    Anyone that expects the Bronx Bombers to bounce back like Boston did is in for an ugly reality check. Boston did EVERYTHING right with its draft picks and FA pick ups in the winter of 2012/’13.
    It was a true cinderella story where the injuries were few and far between and EVERYONE contributed in whatever role they got on that team.
    Kevin Long’s stint as a hitting coach should be over. Between Granderson and Texeira’s injuries and their dismal OBP and RISP SLG % the last two seasons should tell you something is not working on the offensive side of this team. Boston won that match up with the Cards with awesome pitching, tight defense and SMALL ball. Being homer happy is the kiss of death in the post season. Ask Detroit and the Dodgers.