Yankees rumors: Stephen Drew waiting on "clarity" from New York

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

The market for Stephen Drew could be set to heat up now that Shin-Soo Choo has agreed to terms on a seven-year deal with the Texas Rangers. Drew, also represented by agent Scott Boras, is likely the next position player for teams to turn to for infield help. The Yankees have their shortstop position filled with a hopefully healthy Derek Jeter, but giant questions remain at second and third base in New York. Is it possible that they might be interested in bringing Drew in for one of those openings?

Peter Gammons tweeted earlier today that Drew was awaiting further clarity on the part of the Yankees, perhaps concerning how much playing time he could actually get. If Alex Rodriguez's 211-game suspension is upheld or reduced to a season's worth of games, Drew could potentially sign on as the everyday third baseman. With only Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts in the fold for second base, it's possible that Drew could also be useful there instead.

It seems unlikely that Drew would be willing to agree to a deal with the Yankees before being sure of what kind of playing time they can offer him. If Rodriguez's suspension was somehow overturned, it's possible that the Yankees might not want to pay Drew to fill out second base when still dealing with Rodriguez's salary on the books for next season. If Masahiro Tanaka does in fact come to the United States this offseason, the Yankees are almost guaranteed to blow past their $189 million goal. Without that ceiling in place, they could afford to pay Drew to play out of position to hopefully improve their infield offense.

Drew batted .253/.333/.443 with 13 home runs in 124 games for the Red Sox last season. Where it gets concerning is that he managed only a 53 wRC+ against left-handers and only an 88 wRC+ away from Fenway Park. If a player is going to be weak against one side, it's obviously helpful to have a 153 wRC+ against the most common handedness of pitcher, but it also means that a player can be virtually erased from effectiveness when presented with a LOOGY from the bullpen in a crucial late game situation. Career-wise, Drew owns a 74 wRC+ against lefties which is an improvement, but just so. Adding another left-handed bat to a very lefty-heavy lineup can't be ideal for the Yankees.

It's pretty undeniable that Drew is the best infielder left on the open market and that the Yankees pretty desperately need one, but is it worth trying to jam a square peg into a round hole if Drew isn't the best fit? With uncertainty at second and third and Jeter's questionable health, the Yankees may have no choice but to try.

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