Either now or later, Yankees are going to have to pay for infield help

Tanaka, Sanchez crack Baseball America's top 100 prospects list
King: Soriano considering retirement after 2014
(Dilip Vishwanat/Getty)
(Dilip Vishwanat/Getty)

When position players reported to Spring Training yesterday, the competition for the final bench spot officially got underway. We all know Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter will start if healthy, and earlier this week the Yankees and Joe Girardi declared Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson the starters at second and third base, respectively. The competition is for the backup infield spot alongside Brendan Ryan.

Needless to say, an infield built around Roberts and Johnson doesn’t inspire much confidence. The Yankees are said to be done signing Major League free agents, but even if they were open to signing another player, there aren’t many available who fit what they need. Stephen Drew is pretty much the only option at this point and they don’t have interest in him. They did earlier this winter, however. From Joel Sherman:

Early in the offseason, the Yankees – with so many holes to fill – used a strategy of making many offers at one time, letting agents know that with each signing, they would re-assess and pull some bids. The Yankees actually made Drew an offer at that time, believed to be for two or three years, when the shortstop was still looking to do considerably better – four or five years.

And, as it happened, the Yankees spent more than they anticipated on players such as Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Masahiro Tanaka and, at some point, rescinded the offer for Drew. And once Tanaka was signed and the $189 million dream was crushed, Hal Steinbrenner put a clamp on going any further. That means they are not bending for Drew, a decision they believe is made a tad easier because they were worried about the condition of his ankles and hips anyway.

The Yankees basically put a bunch of offers out there and said first come, first serve. The first player to say yes got the contract. Maybe that’s how they wound up with Jacoby Ellsbury instead of Shin-Soo Choo, who they offered seven years and $140M. Same thing with Matt Thornton over Javier Lopez, who they also had interest in. I’m not sure if they could have used the same strategy with Masahiro Tanaka and Brian McCann though. Whatever.

Anyway, Sherman goes on to say Scott Boras’ current asking price for Drew is a two-year contract with an opt-out after the first year. So it’s basically a one-year contract unless he has a really bad year, in which case you’re stuck with him for 2015 as well. The Yankees have already forfeited three top draft picks, so signing Drew would only cost money and a second round pick, which might turn into a supplemental first rounder if he opts out and rejects a qualifying offer next winter.

The Yankees do not want to pay that money and surrender the pick for Drew right now, but in all likelihood they’re going to have to pay for infield help at some point this year. If they don’t give up money and a pick for Drew now, they’ll have to surrender prospects (and probably take on salary) to trade for someone at midseason. Roberts is a huge health risk and the chances of Johnson getting exposed as an everyday player are high enough that an in-season trade feels like an inevitability. Heck, they might have to make a trade even if they sign Drew.

“There are areas of concerns and we’re going to keep plugging away, but we’ve got to see how big of a concern they are,” said Hal Steinbrenner to Bryan Hoch yesterday. “They’re not problems yet because we haven’t even started playing. They’re areas of concern; I get it. Every team has them and every team works through them. We’re going to do the same thing. We got pretty good at it last year, I thought.”

Of course, the problem with standing pat and waiting for a midseason trade is that the Yankees will play a ton of games with a weak infield. Signing Drew or making a trade now improves the team on Opening Day, not on July 31st or whenever. Considering how tight the race for a postseason spot figures to be, the longer New York waits to get infield help, the tougher their road to October will be. The Yankees don’t want to pay for infield help now and that’s fine, as long as they understand they’ll have to pay for it later if they want to have the best possible chance to contend.

Tanaka, Sanchez crack Baseball America's top 100 prospects list
King: Soriano considering retirement after 2014
  • Preston

    I don’t think you can count on the supplemental pick. He would probably take the ~14 million. He’ll be a year older, unless he has a repeat of his 2010 performance then I don’t know why his market would be much different next year.

    • Derek Jeter

      I doubt he would.. Im sure he does not want to play for 1 year contracts from here on out.

      • BamBamMusings

        Forget Drew.

        Help get Jeter into the final 4 of the Face of MLB competition. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/awards/y2014/faceofmlb/

        Tweet #DerekJeter as the #FaceOfMLB

        • Its Yankee Bob

          Yes to this! Dust off them twitter accounts!

        • ALZ

          So, both Trout and Miggy got eliminated already, but we still have a career .241/.295/.344 hitter in there?

      • Preston

        14 million is 14 million. No it’s not ideal, but I’m sure he wishes he’d taken it from the Sox this year.

  • Nate

    Panda will be a Yankee by the deadline

    • pounder

      Ditto.Get it done,put Johnson at second and i like our chances.

    • ALZ

      I think Aramis is the better/easier option. He will be much cheaper, Giants will want several prospects for him.

  • Doug

    I don’t feel too strongly one way or the other about Drew but I really hate that comment from Hal. Okay, I guess they got good at plugging in spare parts last year (they certainly did better than I had expected after all the injuries). But look where it got them. You’d think they would have learned from last year that it doesn’t work too well. I thought the point of spending all that money was to field a team that has a shot at the post season.

    • http://www.twitter.com/mattpat11 Matt DiBari

      I’m really struggling to think of a halfway competent player the Yankees “plugged in” last year. Unless you want to count Soriano, I don’t think anyone they used as a fill in was better than “godawful”

      That being said, Hal *has* to say that at this point. The season hasn’t even started. Nothing can possibly be gained from saying “I really think Kelly Johnson is gonna suck and we’re actively looking to replace him.”

    • ALZ

      Ibanez, Jones, Chavez, were all scrap heap pickups in previous years and provided value.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      Actually, one of the first times ever I’m in agreement w/a Steinbrenner. He’s right. They need to see what they’ve got and what they really need before spending more dough or making more deals. Before anything happens, they’ve really gotta find out about Jeter and whether he’s healthy/strong enough to play 150 games this year at Shortstop. If not, it’s all academic anyway. Either way, I say no on Stephen Drew. It wouldn’t shock me that come the end of ST or sometime in April or early May, they deal Gardner, Romine or Cervelli, and an arm or two such as Warren or Claiborne for a legit 3rd baseman. They could probably throw Nunez into the deal, OR they could decide to keep Cervelli as the backup and give Romine the season at Scranton and deal John Ryan Murphy along w/Gardner & an arm for a foundation type third baseman and a legit pitching prospect.

      If they deal Gardner, then Ichiro and/or Almonte are the backup outfielders (unless someone on waivers falls into their laps), and if they deal JR Murphy, Romine starts the year in Scranton w/Cervelli the backup, and Romine gets the playing time he needs to make up for all the lost a/b’s he had over the past two years. I think Romine’s an underrated receiver and I think he’ll hit enough if he’s healthy and given the opportunity to backup McCann (should the need or opportunity arise). I’d hate to lose Murphy as I think he’s a better all around player then Romine, but if his value remains high (& I think it’s rising), & w/Gary Sanchez, Luis Torrens, and yes, even Greg Bird in the organization presently (even if they have him playing 1b presently), they’ve got some talent in the pipeline behind the plate.

      If Roberts goes down at 2b, I could see Kelly Johnson being plugged in there, & I wouldn’t write off Dean Anna just yet as he looks like a guy who looks like a grinder who can wear out pitchers and could be a solid enough OBP guy to make him a surprise to make the roster. We’ll have to see, but it looks interesting either way. They have chips that can be dealt for possible upgrades on the left side of the infield and either in the pitching staff or acquiring some valuable pitching prospect(s). Whatever they do for the 2014 club, they really need to keep an eye out for acquiring and stockpiling guys with big arms. IMO, they don’t have enough arms in the pipeline as you really can’t have too many of them. A few pitchers go down again, either prospects or big league arms, & they’ll be spinning their wheels for years to come. Should be interesting to see how Robertson takes to the closer role. If he blows up back there, they’re gonna have some problems.

      • ALZ

        If you trade Gardner that moves Ryan or Ichiro into starting everyday.

        • Wolfgang’s Fault

          Not necessarily. They deal Gardner, they still have Soriano and Beltran as the corner outfield w/Ichiro and Almonte as backup outfielders. Along w/Soriano and Beltran, Both Jeter and Texeira are going to need D/H days, and that probably includes McCann as well. If they deal Gardner &/or Murphy w/a few other chips, they can probably acquire one or two quality players/prospects, one of which could be Jete’s future replacement at short. Depends on what team in the hunt this year needs a starting center fielding leadoff hitter and what they’d be willing to give up for it, and what club out there would love to start the year w/a 22 year old catcher w/huge upside in Moiphy.

          McCann, Ellsbury, and Tanaka and the pitching staff is the foundation they’ve got to build upon. Everything else has to work on that foundation or they’ve gotta go for other players who can. If Romine can reestablish his value before Murphy is dealt, that would be huge as they could then turn around and deal Romine and hold onto Murphy. Not that Romine can’t or won’t be a solid big league backstop because I think he’s capable, but I think Murphy’s going to be a real quality big league catcher for a long time.

  • Steve (different one)

    Aramis Ramirez will be a Yankee by July and Johnson will be playing 2B.

  • MV_Photon

    I would prefer to see the Yankees take a flyer on 23-year-old Cuban defector Aledmys Diaz. They desperately need a shortstop for 2015 (if not before). Hopefully, they have fired the international scouts who dissuaded them from signing Yu Darvish…

    • SamVa

      I agree with this– why not take a shot in the semi-dark and see what happens– reports are that he can play 2nd and 3rd too.

      Worst case, he ends up as a more expensive Brendan Ryan; best case we get a young SS to take over for Jeter for the foreseeable future after 2014.

      Why not CashNinja?

      • nyyankfan_7

        What reports say he can play 2nd & 3rd besides the comment section at RAB? He has never played an inning at either position.

        And the worst case in your argument isn’t true – the worst case is he ends up hurt like he has the majority of the past 5 years and we pay him to never play like Pedro Feliciano.

        He’s also not all that young. He’s 31 this season so you’d be replacing Jeter with a 32 year old next year with a track record for never playing 120+ games a year all for the low low price of $14M / year. No thanks.

      • nyyankfan_7

        I apologize….failed to realize you were talking about the Cuban SS and not Drew.

        Major fail. Excuse me while I go to the restroom to beat myself up ala Jim Carrey in Liar Liar.

      • Travis Lincoln

        MLBTR reports that the Yankees are one of 7 teams talking to Diaz. His agent, Jamie Torres, says that Diaz will look at dollars and opportunity. Sounds like the Yankees have the ingredients to make a deal…hopefully they offer a MLB deal and not a MiLB deal.

  • TheOneWhoKnocks

    I’m fine with it being later. Drew isn’t an ideal fit right now.

    I’m a hopeless optimist but it IS spring training season, so with that said I think Roberts and Johnson will play every day, hold up healthwise(at least until june) and be close to league average players. Sizemore will win the backup job and kill it in a platoon role filling in at 3B and 2B frequently against lefties. I think come june, Roberts will break down and Yankees will swing a trade for aramis ramirez to play 3b, and move the effective Johnson/Sizemore platoon to 2B.

    As for SS? Jeter will hit. He’ll play 120+ games at short. Ryan will start 15-25 games and SS won’t be something we concern ourselves with this season.

    • I’m One

      I largely agree with your point of view. I think the Yankees feel there will be better options than Drew at some point during the season. Someone they feel is a better value based on overall cost (years of control, expected contribution, salary and prospects or whatever). They just must no feel Drew is the right player for their needs.

    • Darren


    • Irreverent Discourse

      I fear the 17 games they will play without a SS then. :)

  • Rob S.

    I still believe the Yankees single biggest need is a corner infielder. Either a legitmate third baseman or someone who can backup at third and first. Still I don’t think it’s fair to say that they have a “weak” infield but more like a potentially fragile one. If Jeter, Roberts and Teixeira stay healthy, I think they will all be productive. It would be a lot to expect all three to last the entire season though. I think between Ryan, Nunez and Johnson, the infield is deep enough. If Teixeira gets injured or Johnson can’t cut it at third though they will have a big problem on their hands. If the Yankees had made the effort to sign Mark Reynolds they would feel like more of a complete team.

  • JJ

    I think it comes down to the price Boras wants and the player they want long term. I bet they have someone in mind they will target rather then paying up now for Drew (Headley?). I agree it the short term it may not be best, but long term it may be the right strategy.

  • gageagainstthemachine

    Dear Stephen Drew-
    Please sign somewhere. Now. I don’t want to read about you anymore.

    • JohnC


      I couldn’t agree more!!!!!!!!!!

      • Germaine Floyd

        Yeah agreed. Seriously, stop barking up the Drew tree. Yankees aren’t interested, get over it.

        • the Other Steve S.

          But but but, Joba to the rotation!!!

          • Havok9120

            Nate Schierholtz!

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              Dom Brown!!!!!

    • Steve_Balboni

      Best post all day. Clearly nobody wants to hear about this guy anymore. Spring training started and he still has no team.

  • TWTR

    Maybe Austin, Williams, or Heathcott can have a good first half and they can trade a package for a young infielder. At some point, the farm system has to become a strength.

  • Eddard

    I think what we have is just fine. You can’t have an All Star at every position. The outfield is loaded and will carry the offense. People point to last year and say last year’s infield was terrible and look how it turned out, but they fail to note that there are significant upgrades at C, 1B, RF and DH over last season. SS is also an upgrade because even a 38 year old Jeter is better than what they were running out there last season.

    • Preston

      The only guys in our lineup who aren’t all-stars are Brett Gardner and Kelly Johnson.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        Correction: The only guys in the lineup who *weren’t All-Stars at some point* are Gardner and Johnson.

        Beltran is pretty much the only player in the lineup you can count for All-Star level production in 2014, and even that’s dicey.

        • SamVa

          Maybe not “count on” but I think has about as much chance as a 37 year old RF.

          • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead


          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

            I completely spaced on McCann. So two players. Really one and a half.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

          If you buy defensive metrics, Gardner has been All-Star worthy. Whether he was selected or not is a formality.

        • mike c

          yeah because we all know we can’t count on mccann and ellsbury right? get off stephen drew’s jock already

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

            You can’t count on Ellsbury. The next time he puts up back-to-back average seasons will be the first.

            • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

              But you can count on him running into other outfielders and getting hurt again?

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                Oh please. He’s played 140+ games once in the last four years and in only one of those seasons did he run into another player.

                • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

                  Come on Mike.


                  Twice. Unless reid brignac doesn’t count as a player.

                  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                    He also broke his foot and played with a hand injury in the postseason this year. At some point when you get hurt year after year, you’re injury prone. Every player gets run into or landed on over the course of the season, but not every player spends four months on the DL because of it.

                    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

                      That hand injury seemed to really kill his performance to the tune of a 132 postseason wrc+

                      All injuries aren’t created equally and you’re treating them like they are.

                    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

                      And geez, I don’t care who you are, running into Beltre and breaking ribs is not a sign of injury proneness.

                      And come on, not every player gets run into or landed on during the season. Not to the extent that Ellsbury has been run into. That could be a product of his reckless style, sure. But each injury on its own has been pretty fluky.

                      You’re free to believe that the flukes will keep happening.

                    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                      Jeter hit well while playing through the bone bruise in Sept. 2012, that doesn’t make it okay.

                    • Havok9120

                      He fouled a ball off his foot and got jammed with a pitch inside.

                      I get what you’re saying about possible fragility, but that’s hardly something you or anyone else could measure. Guy knees you in the ribs, guy lands his full weight on your shoulder, you take a foul ball off the foot…no, no everyone gets “hurt” from these things, but you’ve no way of knowing whether any particular player would have gotten hurt in the particular plays in which Ells was.

                      You made the argument with Andy that it was unfair to call him injury prone or broken down over the last couple years, despite time limited by injury, because they were freak events. You also made the distinction with Granderson. I know that the situations were different because the sample size is larger with Ellsbury, but you’ve been refusing to even grant the distinction between freak events and regular injuries. And it isn’t like he’s Heathcott, playing out of his mind and thus creating freak events.

                      I just don’t understand why distinctions you’ve made for other injuries and other players in the past do not warrant a mention in Ellsbury’s case.

                    • Mr. Roth

                      Why do we emphasize Ellsbury’s injuries so much, but ignore Stephen Drew’s?

                    • Preston

                      @ Mr. Roth, when you’re talking about a one or two year deal injuries are much less of a concern than when you are making a 7 year commitment.

                    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

                      If an injury doesn’t effect on field performance, I don’t care about it.

        • Preston

          I was just making the point that the All-star distinction is silly. As Brett is probably the safest bet in the OF, and Kelly Johnson is probably the safest bet on the infield.

  • Bobby d

    Guarantee you that Brendan Ryan becomes more than just a caddy for Jeter on this team. We are going to have to take his great defense and little hitting and make up for offense elsewhere!

    • JohnC

      With Beltran, Ellsbury, Soriano and McCann, they can do it.

  • Bats

    Nowhere in this post by Axisa does he mention Drew’s asking price. Drew turned down 14.1 mil from the Red Sox….fyi.

    • Bats

      Clearly Mike Axisa wants Drew and his .245/.322 (over the past 3 seasons) to be a Yankee. Why on earth for? If Axisa would just explain his thought process instead of coming short of throwing a literary hissy-fit,…maybe I’ll understand.

      • Havok9120

        Oh, please.

        I’m not on the “sign Drew!” bandwagon, but not admitting that would almost certainly improve the team if signed is just nonsensical. Even with the injury concerns and the lack of big, consistent offensive upside, he fits a need. Not perfectly, no, but an improvement is an improvement.

        Furthermore, if you want to read why Mike feels Drew is a good fit for this team go read the article he wrote about that.

        • jjyank

          This, this, this.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        Because Brian Roberts is terrible. I thought that went without saying.

        • JEETS

          Brian Robets …IS NOT terrible Mike…he’s a good ballplayer…what is so terrible about him….he’s been hurt,but, he’s always been a good solid 2nd baseman….come on !!!!

          • Ed

            2005-2009 Brian Roberts was a good player.

            2010-2013 Brian Roberts played in about 30% of his team’s games and mostly sucked. There’s a reason he signed a 1 year, $2m contract.

        • TWTR

          I would call him pretty much AWOL. He never plays enough to be terrible.

          • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

            Yeah, this.

      • mike c

        because axisa plays favorites in his writing and clearly drew is one of said favorites for whatever reason

        • TWTR

          If playing favorites means advocating upgrading a very precarious infield situation (be it with Drew or someone else) on a team with win it all aspirations, I hope he does it a lot more.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

          I don’t mind his desire for Drew. He’s a legitimate upgrade for this year’s team.

        • Havok9120

          Mike has opinions. Mike shares his opinions. Most of us come here, in the end, to read his opinions. It’s a blog. That’s what they’re for.

          • I’m One

            And, while I don’t think this is front and center in Mike’s mind, having a lot of comments/site visits certainly doesn’t hurt this site. Eyeballs generate revenue.

        • Preston

          I am not an advocate for signing Drew. But Mike favors Drew because he’s the only remaining infielder on the market who is a legitimate MLB starter and the weakest area on the 2014 roster is the infield.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Which he has the right to do. He’s not Chad. He’s not writing for a paper’s blog. He’s writing for his own.

  • john

    Ya, let’s sign Drew so we can make Jeter’s last year a constant maelstrom of news reports insisting on his benching for whatever reason… yes, yes, that’s the ticket!

  • vin

    Wait… Drew is still available?!?!

    Just kidding.

    I agree with Mike that they’ll eventually need to pay for an infielder. I can’t imagine the outlay for Drew would be that much of a deal breaker. 2/24 with the opt-out probably gets it done at this point. That’s a low enough risk for me, but then again I’m not paying the bills.

    • Havok9120

      It should be noted that even 2/24 is actually 2/36 due to the luxury tax hit. That’s not a small consideration, since I really don’t think Drew is a good enough bet to “pay” him 18M/year. Especially not with such a player-friendly opt out.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

        Yep, this right here is why I don’t want him. Also the injury risk at that price.

      • Tom

        So is Tanaka a good bet to put up 32-33mil per year in value? At least the Yankees didn’t give him an opt out.

        How about Beltran at 22.5mil per? (ARod’s suspension was not ruled on when he signed and the Yankees were over at that point too)

        When you start evaluating players based on how early or late they sign in an offseason and start assigning marginal costs to an individual player when the tax is on the entire team, you run the risk of really poor logic.

        Also how do you evaluate his next year? (the Yankees aren’t over the 2015 yet) He gets the 50% tax applied, but other earlier FA signings in the offseason (McCann, Ellsbury, Beltran, Tanaka, Ryan) do not?

        • Havok9120

          You raise a very good point. Nonetheless it does matter at what point a guy signs in an offseason, because that’s exactly the cost the team needs to calculate at the time the signing occurs.

          I think they considered ARod a sunk cost and moved on with their early offseason. Given how tightly clamped the budget appears to be, I’m not sure we get Tanaka if ARod’s salary is here this season (though I hope they aren’t that shortsighted).

          Your point is well taken. It isn’t an ironclad argument and it runs risks of terrible logic. But the tax only applies to dollars spent after you’re over which, at the moment, is basically the team’s benefit contribution and 6 million of whoever. It’d be Drew’s entire contract. That matters to the people paying the bills. Even if you don’t think it should, they’ve made it clear that it does

          • Tom

            Oh clearly they are pinching pennies. Payroll is down in an offseason where National TV revenue will increase 25mil/team AND the luxury tax bill will be going down (as the threshold has increased)

            The Yankees should net an extra 40-50 mil this year if everything holds.

            All that said, you evaluate a player on the contract you sign him for, not on a marginal cost model which assumes a static environment, when the environment is dynamic. You are also assuming marginal costs into the future that don’t yet exist. Economically you run the risk of double counting as players signed next year when the Yankees are over should also be viewed as tax hits after 189mil.

            Most importantly, if you are going to do a marginal cost analysis and look at context, then you should also be doing a marginal BENEFIT analysis and looking at where the Yankees are on the win curve and what 1 WAR is worth based on where you are on the win curve. If you are going to add in context, you can’t just do it on solely on the cost side. What is the marginal revenue of an extra win or two (or whatever Drew’s value is deemed)?

            • Havok9120

              To your last question: unmeasurable in any meaningful way. That will be as true after the season as it is right now.

              You do run the risk of double counting in the future, which is why the evaluation is not done a single time. A signed player is a sunk cost. He already exists. Until he his signed, he must be measured by the cost his total contract adds. Drew is being measured by a standard now which he will not have have to meet after he is a sunk cost, just as Beltran or Tanaka were before. It isn’t theoretically sound, but it’s how most of the book keepers and owners (obviously of smaller things than an MLB team) I’ve ever met operate when there are tax implications.

              Much as I can occasionally enjoy a theoretical economic discussion, the standards you are pitching are not those being used by the team. They are accounting for marginal costs on contracts once they’re over the limit. Past reports indicate they’ve pretty much always done that. Because the benefit is unknown, the marginal benefit side of things becomes subjective. The Yankees don’t see the value of the two equaling out, and I’m not sure I blame them. Especially since there is a very real opportunity cost in signing anyone at this level of payroll. Chances are good whatever room is left is being saved for acquisitions during the season.

  • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

    No thanks.

  • mt

    I am not sold on Drew – they also probably want to see whether Sizemore or Anna might surprise. So choice is sign Drew now or trade for one of Aramis Ramirez/Headley(?)Panda later who might be a better fit but will cost prospects – not clear whether they will cost more salary in 2014 than Drew.

    In terms of Yankees current infield, I did see a great comment, though – Brian Roberts is the Travis Hafner of infielders. I am praying he can eke out 100 games before the inevitable injury. With Tex and Jeter returning from major injuries, relying on an injury prone Roberts as a major piece bothers me. At least they got Kelly Johnson who does not have a major injury history – even if the 2B we had gotten as part of the mix was average as a player, I would prfer that to the Travis Hafner of infielders.

    So in 2014 will Brian Roberts be in the Chavez, Colon, Garcia mold where Yankees get good prodution from players with major prior injuries (although a lot of people gloss over the fact that Chavez did get hurt his first year with Yankees and missed a lot of time) or will he be in the Nick Johnson 2/Hafner/Youkilis totally projectable injury bust category? Or will he be in the Vernon Wells category and be able to stay on field but just be outright terrible?

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      Agree, why spend money on a desperation option when you never know what Anna/Sizemore will do(well, I know Sizemore is going to be amazing but no one believes me…)

      If you sign Drew now, you pay 18 mil for this year, and either another 18 mil for an underperforming SS next year or he’s gone.

      If you wait and are nicely surprised by the guys you have, you not only save that money this year but next year too.

      Obviously Drew makes this year’s team better. I just don’t think it’s worth what you’re paying in money and opportunity cost.

      • Havok9120

        If he opts out, they almost certainly offer a QO. Then they’re either “paying” 21-25 million or getting a draft pick.

        I’m not sure the opt-out is an argument any of us can really use in support of signing him or not.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

          Eh, that’s probably true. Opt-out argument rescinded.

      • not much to say

        I also believe Sizemore will do well. If early reports aren’t favorable for whatever reason, I’m going to be patient, as a strong finish to camp is what I’m looking for rather than a strong start.

  • The Other Mister D

    If Drew’s market has been so bad this year, why would he expect to have a better market next season? Pretending he has a solid season this year and opts out, I don’t think he would want to go through this whole thing again if a $14m QO is on the table. So if I’m the Yankees, I really do not sign him expecting to get that draft pick back next season.

    As to why they haven’t moved on him, I suppose it is possible they have hit Mr. Steinbrenner’s budget cap this year. The other possibility is that they expect someone better to be made available in season, and are willing to pay more later for the better player. Of course, there is no guarantee that they would be able to get said player, when they are nearly guaranteed to grab Drew now if they wanted him.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      I think giving up the second rounder is worth improving their 2014 chances. They don’t need to get the pick back next year for the move to make sense. Losing a second rounder at this point is no big deal.

      • The Other Mister D

        I agree. My point was simply that if I were them I would not count on it regardless.

    • Havok9120

      The assumption that he’d opt out after a good/decent year makes me queezy as well.

      Whether or not his not opting out after a good/decent year is a bad thing from the Yankees perspective is another argument entirely.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

        I think there are really two options; either he plays well and opts out, or he doesn’t play well and doesn’t opt out.

        To me it’s either a bad 2 year deal or a good 1 year deal.

  • Kosmo

    just sign Diaz.

    • I’m One

      They could be waiting to see how that goes.

  • Guns

    Two years with an opt out clause after the first year? I swear to God… I don’t get this organization anymore. Watching this infield collapse with injuries & poor performance will be almost too predictable.

    Also, worrying about Drew’s health after signing Ellsbury, Beltran and Brian FUCKING Roberts is total comedy.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      Beltran is injury prone? News to me.

      So because we signed other guys, we should ignore injuries? Sounds good.

      • Guns

        That’s exactly what I said. Well done.

    • Derek Jeter

      I’m betting on Brian Roberts to surprise people this year and remain healthy..

      • Guns

        Well you’re entitled. But I’m hoping for your sake you’re not really betting and just “betting.” That would be a pleasant surprise, though.

  • mustang

    Just let it go.

    Definitely getting to the Joba “starter/reliever” territory as far as being played.

  • al

    Based on their track record, Yankees should be least worried about forfeiting their 2nd round draft pick.

  • Fred

    I’m really hoping they trade for Chase Headley.

  • Niko

    The fact that no one else has moved on Drew speaks to his value, surely the Yanks aren’t the only ones who need infield help. It looks like he thinks he is worth more than he is.

    I know plans are best case scenarios, but since that seems to be the order of discussion…
    Looking over Mike’s top prospects list I see a lot of guys positions with no near term openings. Why not beef up and trade out some of the catching and outfield prospects? With McCann for 5 and Ells for 7 it might be better to move some prospects for infield help rather than forcing them to languish in the minors.

    • Havok9120

      Ellsbury and Beltran are the only outfielders signed beyond next season. And I think Beltran is going to become more and more a DH over the life of his contract. If those OFs produce, there will be room for them.

      • Niko

        I really hope I don’t have to eat these words, but I don’t see Gardner going anywhere either.

    • willie w

      Drew thinks what Boras tells him to think

      • Havok9120

        Do share the evidence you have for this insight into the relationship between Scott Boras and his clients.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Do you really want to see a picture of his ass?

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    I’m amazed that this thread hasn’t resulted in Stephen Drew talk. Oh.

  • John Duci

    Best thing would be Hanley Ramirez if he doesn’t get extended. Second best Headly for 3rd and Lowrie for ss. I wouldn’t trade for or sign anyone else that’s going to be available. I would sign Diaz tho just in case he turns out to be good

  • infernoscurse

    I dont mind drew but i rather wait it out even if we put ourselves in a hole this season with patchwork if it meant using those resources for a better player that may become available. yes the yankees have unlimited resources moneywise but they seem to be hesitant unless they flop and miss the playoffs. besides you cant block the future star Eddie Nunez

  • willie w

    I hate Boras and his tactics
    the yanks should tell him to come back with a real offer or to go screw himself

    • Germaine Floyd

      Could be that they did, hence why he’s still out there.

  • cashjr

    Drew Smrew. If his price comes down great. If not we’ll just have to play it by ear.

    I’m mostly against the opt out clause (and of course waiving it is part of his price coming down in my opinion). I really hate them in general, but understand for truly elite players you may need them. But for Drew? No way. People who are saying they are ok are missing a big point in that the team takes a risk with all signings if a player under-performs, but can benefit if a player over-performs or at least performs as expected. It’s the whole risk-reward thing and it is important. If you give it for Drew, then that sets a really bad precedent. Do you give it on all contracts and then anyone can opt out after a good year, but you’re stuck with everyone who has a bad year? Just doesn’t seem fair, that you can’t cut someone after a bad year, but they can leave on their own after a good year.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Still think they made prudent choices with the cards made available to them, that there’s at least improved depth, even if the starting options aren’t inspiring. At least they have the flexibility to make moves when the market changes.

    • Preston

      Yeah, it’s not like they had a choice at SS and 1b, those guys are there no matter what. The real question is can Kelly Johnson be an everyday 3b, because if he can then I think the infield is fine. You’re basically saying we have Brian Roberts, Dean Anna, Scott Sizemore, Eduardo Nunez, Corban Joseph and Brendan Ryan to throw against the wall and see if one or a combination of that group can piece together something close to league average. I think there’s a pretty good chance of something alright happening at 2b this season.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I’m a card-carrying member of Team Sizemore with VIP privileges. Would for him to free Johnson up to roam around the IF and still get a good number of AB’s.

        • Preston

          And if Scott Sizemore can be a league average player at an infield spot I’ll be so happy I’ll give you back every internet dollar you’ve ever gambled away on this site.

  • j

    Stephen Drew is a shortstop. He has never played a non SS position professionally. This isn’t MLB The Show. Making any position switch, especially this late in the offseason, is extremely difficult and it takes a long time to adjust. I’d be more comfortable switching Alfonso back to second – at least he has experience at the position.

    Drew can’t hit lefties, is injury prone, and 2013 was the first time he did anything with the bat in three years. (Oh, and by the way, check out his home/road splits from 2013).

    Did I just say three years? That is also the last season he didn’t get hurt and miss a significant amount of games – 2010.

    There are plenty of reasons to not want to sign Drew, especially if it means committing 2015 payroll during a year in which A-Rods salary swoops down like an evil specter of the past.

    We have plenty of options. Roberts could stay healthy, Sizemore could make a comeback, Anna could make the transition to the majors, we could use the money on Diaz and he could be ready at mid-season. There is a non-negligible probability that one of these things will happen. And if that fails, Aramis Ramirez, Kung Fu Panda, Rickie Weeks and co. will be midseason options – and relatively cheap ones at that. There is no need to commit significant resources to solve a problem that may not be an actual problem.

  • The Great Gonzo

    I’m gonna say it: Drew (and Morales) should have taken the Qualifying Offer. There is zero reason to pay either of those dudes $14M per season, hence there was no reason for them to be offered a QO. Seattle and Boston should have been saddled with those guys.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Of course those were incredibly dumbass moves on their respective parts.

  • bobmac

    Talk about beating a dead horse.The Yanks don’t want Drew.The Red Sox don’t want Drew.They want the draft pick.

    • mustang

      The horse has beaten, grilled, broiled, roast, sawed, sanded, whipped, fried, toasted and Barbecue.

      • mustang

        “12:32pm: Diaz and fellow Cuban Odrisamer Despaigne (a right-handed pitcher) continue to make their way around Florida for various showcases, tweets Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com…….The pair is expected to appear in front of the Yankees today, says Sanchez.”

        Thank God for the horse’s sake.

  • Robbie Hustle

    I can’t really tell if Mike is being overly pessimistic or just straight up trolling with this Stevie Drew nonsense. As is stands Kelly Johnson, Derek Jeter, and Brian Roberts are playing 3rd, SS, and 2nd respectively. They are backed up by Sizemore, Nunez, Ryan, and Anna. Your entire article basically says that none of the afore mentioned players will amount to jack shit and Yankees need Stevie Drew to save the day. That may very well be the case, but just where does Drew fit into this equation? Also, why would Drew want to be a cog in this machine that is dependent upon one of the parts breaking down to get playing time? Doesn’t he want to start? Why would a team like the Yankees part with yet another draft pick for the sake of a utility player? The biggest hump the Yankees need to get over is player development. Why in the blue fuck do they take a pass for the first two rounds of the draft just to ensure that Steven Drew is a pinstriped fail-safe plan? I am not getting it. Economic choice and response cost might be some business terms to look into…

  • pft2

    The teams bench will likely get more PA than Beltran, McCann and Ellsbury combined. There is no way a lineup of Soriano (38), Jeter (40), Beltan (37), Roberts (36), McCann (30), Ellsbury (31), Tex (34), Johnson (32) and Gardner (30) come close to playing every game. The bench is very, very weak except at C