Much to the chagrin of some fans, the Yankees reportedly brought infielder Stephen Drew back on a one-year, $5 million contract. I'll admit that even though I don't hate the move to add depth up the middle, I'm not very optimistic on how much Drew will produce in 2015, even with a full spring training this time. Fortunately, the Twittersphere was not as bearish on the signing. Like with the deal that sent Manny Banuelos out of town, it's at least a little encouraging when more neutral sides weigh in and give their support to a move that generated mixed reactions (to be generous).
Digging the #Yankees' deal with Stephen Drew, makes enough sense for a team with money to spend & few tomorrows with this crew.— Christina Kahrl (@ChristinaKahrl) January 7, 2015
As one of the featured writers on ESPN's SweetSpot blog and a co-founder at Baseball Prospectus, Kahrl's thoughts should not be easily dismissed. From years editing the BP Annual, she certainly has experience evaluating players based on their previous performances. On a short-term deal, Drew's contract carries minimal risk.
Drew is a good signing. Last year was a wash because he missed half the year, including spring training. He'll be better, and can play 2B.— David Waldstein (@DavidWaldstein) January 7, 2015
Positive review from a beat reporter. Drew at least has a positive defensive reputation, and it would hard to hit much worse than he did last year.
Oh, ZiPS for Drew in NY is 211/285/360, 77 OPS+, +2 D at 2B in 376 projected PA.— Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski) January 7, 2015
My rule of thumb is not to put too much stock into projections, but this isn't pretty. Neither is the FanGraphs Steamer projection of .219/.295/.353 with an 82 wRC+. But hey, it's still better than what he did last year, and given the struggles of rookies coming up from Triple-A around the majors recently, it's far from a lock that Robert Refsnyder or Jose Pirela could produce that anyway.
Gut tells me #Yankees want Refsnyder (still new to 2b) to get more AAA time and Pirela will be RH complement to Drew— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 7, 2015
If Sherman's instinct is accurate, I would support this plan. It can't hurt Ref to further improve his defense in Triple-A, and Pirela platooning with Drew when a lefty takes the mound isn't a bad idea at all. (Is Brendan Ryan off this team yet? I hope he hasn't purchased any real estate.)
I think Stephen Drew is a good signing #tepidstove— Chris Cwik (@Chris_Cwik) January 7, 2015
Scorching take from CBS Sports/FanGraphs writer Chris Cwik! (But seriously, this was a positive gut reaction to the signing immediately after the news hit Twitter.)
Bottom line is Ref is not ready. Pirela is still a gamble. Drew is cheap and gives stability. Getting spring training helps Drew.— Jed Weisberger (@jedleyq) January 7, 2015
Having never seen Refsnyder's defense live, I'll defer to Jed's judgment on his second base ability. I know the scouting reports aren't exactly glowing either, so in the long run, is it really the worst thing for Refsnyder to have a little bit more time to develop his glove?
Don't know which will be funnier: Yankee fans fuming over signing Drew or Met fans fuming over not signing Drew— Mike Gianella (@MikeGianella) January 7, 2015
Heh. Always intriguing to see the difference in the opinion between Yankees and Mets fans.
Stephen Drew had an awful year at the plate, but some in the game see him to bouncing back in '15. Nice move by #Yankees.— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) January 7, 2015
A return to Drew's 2013 form would be ideal. Even a significant fraction of that could help.
Could #Yankees risk Drew/Ryan def-heavy SS platoon to free Didi up to be part of package for SP?— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 7, 2015
Man, I hope not. That is an ugly-looking shortstop platoon; I'd rather just bank on Didi Gregorius and his potential.
If Drew rebounds, #Yankees get a steal. But I'm not so sure he rebounds.— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer74) January 7, 2015
This is the essence of the deal. It's certainly encouraging to see a handful of nice words about the deal, but it's up to Drew to prove his doubters wrong. At 31 years old, he's far from a geezer. Let's see him rebound.