Ever since the Yankees lost Robinson Cano to free agency, they've struggled to find a suitable replacement at second base. Last season, they brought in Brian Roberts to man second, but after a few months they cut him, and made a trade for Stephen Drew. It was hard to imagine someone playing worse at the position than Roberts had, but Drew, forced to play second for the first time in his career, didn't turn out to be the upgrade that the Yankees were looking for. The free agency market for second basemen was shallow over the past offseason, and as time went on, it seemed more and more inevitable that the Yankees would bring back Drew. Hoping that Drew's rough 2014 season was due to the fact that he didn't sign with the Red Sox until after the regular season started and thus didn't get a spring training to help him get into the swing of things, the Yankees signed him to a one-year deal worth five million dollars. With the All-Star break next week, the Yankees are nearing the halfway point in the season, and Drew has been altogether terrible since the season began. He's not hitting, aside from the occasional home run, and his fielding hasn't been quite as sharp as it has been in years past. Isn't it well past time for the Yankees to part ways with Drew?
Last season, Roberts and Alfonso Soriano were awful, and the Yankees eventually realized this and released both of them from the team. Oddly enough, Drew is playing worse than Roberts, and only a bit better than Soriano at this time last year.
At the halfway point in the season, we're no longer dealing with issues of the sample size being too small to make a valid judgment. We're past the point of waiting to see if Drew will get better, though the Yankees certainly might hang onto him and continue to hope he improves, especially given how frequently Joe Girardi likes to say that Drew has been hitting the ball hard. It's bad enough that guys like Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius have struggled at the plate and have contributed to the general issues of the offense (and defense), but if 258 plate appearances isn't enough to get Drew going, then it's probably time to move on. Jose Pirela may not be a great solution, but he can play second base, and he's had such limited playing time in the majors so far, that he very well could improve. There is always the argument in favor of Rob Refsnyder, who is slashing .280/.373/.387 with five home runs in Scranton. He still hasn't solved his defensive woes, though, having already made 13 errors. Nick Noonan and Cole Figueroa round out the possible second base candidates from Scranton, but, along with Refsnyder, neither of the three are on the Yankees 40-man roster.
It's hard to imagine the team keeping Drew around for some kind of trade bait, because he's played so poorly that any team should be able to find a better option. Last year, the Yankees originally landed Drew in a trade with the Red Sox in exchange for Kelly Johnson, which was basically the equivalent of trading a moldy peach for a rot-infested apple at the time. If it was at all possible to make that trade again this season, the Yankees would probably do it in a heartbeat since Kelly Johnson, now with the Braves, is hitting .259/.291/.413 with six home runs through 151 plate appearances. Ouch.
Do you think the Yankees should release Drew? Think they could work a trade somehow?