It is now spring training and the Yankees still have numerous questions across the infield, even after their spending spree this winter. Will Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, and Brian Roberts stay healthy? Who will platoon with Kelly Johnson at third? Will the Yankees come to their senses and lose Eduardo Nunez? One player that could help ease those question marks, in theory, is Stephen Drew. A seemingly good fit, the Yankees' interest in Drew, for whatever reason, just hasn't been there.
Looking at the infield itself, it appears as though the Yankees have painted themselves into a corner when it comes to Drew. At third, Kelly Johnson, a left-handed batter, is expected to be a part of a platoon and will need a right-handed platoon partner. Drew, also a left-handed batter, does not fit that requirement; he hit a very weak .196/.246/.340 with a 53 wRC+ in 167 plate appearances against left-handed pitching last season and has struggled against lefties over the course of his career (74 wRC+).
Next, at shortstop, are Derek Jeter and backup Brendan Ryan. Jeter will be, if healthy, the team's primary shortstop, but will also see time at DH. It is assumed, anyway, that Jeter will see most of his time at shortstop, otherwise there probably would have been news of talks between Jeter and, say, manager Joe Girardi, about a possible role change where Jeter would see the majority of his time at DH, or somewhere else like third base, and less time at short. Since there have been no reported talks, the Yankees wouldn't theoretically need a regular shortstop like Drew.
Finally, there's second base. The Yankees signed Brian Roberts to be their everyday second baseman. You read that right: Brian Roberts, who has played in only 192 of a possible 648 games the last four seasons, was signed by the Yankees this winter to be their everyday second baseman. Joe Girardi even indicated earlier in the off-season that they plan to use Roberts as their everyday second baseman. Roberts has said "That's my goal, is to be the everyday second baseman the majority of the games."
When the Yankees and Roberts agreed to a deal earlier this winter, the two sides likely came to a verbal agreement that Roberts would be the everyday second baseman, which is what the team has said since the signing. The Yankees will stick with that agreement with Roberts, so it's not like they can just shoehorn Roberts into a platoon role with Drew getting the bulk of the at-bats at second.
Believe it or not, even with all the questions surrounding the infield, Drew may not be a correct fit for the Yankees; Johnson needs a right-handed platoon partner, which Drew is not; Jeter is the (almost) everyday man at short; Roberts is penciled in to be everyday second baseman, even if we all know it's a plan doomed to fail. It's odd, really, to think that someone like Drew, who can hit, play an above average shortstop, is willing to play second or third base, and is willing to take a multi-year deal with an opt-out after the first year wouldn't be a fit, but thanks to how the roster is constructed, the Yankees will stand pat and see what happens in the end.
In the next few weeks, or even sooner, Drew will sign with a team, whether that be with the Mets, back with the Red Sox, or some other unknown team, while the Yankees stick with their guns and hope for the best. Also, in a few weeks, or more likely in a few months, one or both of New York's grizzled veterans (Jeter or Roberts) will get hurt and the team will have to scramble for a replacement. It'll be similar to 2013, unfortunately, where the infield situation was poorly planned out during the previous off-season and everything blew up in their face as a result.