Brian Cashman recently stated that the reason Stephen Drew has been getting so much playing time is because he is the best option that the Yankees have. That seems like a particularly bold statement considering the fact that Drew's season has been pretty comparable to that of what we saw from Brian Roberts last season. Drew's .659 OPS and 0.2 fWAR are actually identical to the numbers Roberts put up before he was cut at the end of July. Drew has the defensive edge, and has hit more home runs, but Roberts had 75 hits compared to Drew's current total of 59. Last year the Yankees decided that Roberts wasn't good enough, and cut him in favor of a trade for Drew, but this year they've been content to stick with Drew even though he has not played well at all. The Yankees still have until the end of August to make a trade, but there are not a lot of options out there. Is Cashman right when he says that Drew is the Yankees' best option?
In terms of external second base options, Cashman probably is right. Chase Utley cleared waivers and is available to be traded anywhere now. The Yankees are reportedly considered to be "in the mix" regarding Utley, but has had an even worse season than Drew. Through 272 plate appearances, Utley is hitting .208/.276/.313 with four home runs and 58 wRC+, although he has been on a tear since coming off the disabled list six games ago (.500/.478/.682). His defense has taken a hit this season, as his UZR/150 is negative (-12.0) for the first time since his debut back in 2003. Utley's chronic knee pain has also caused him to miss significant time over the past several years, so he isn't a safe choice for any team. He has a $15 million vesting option for 2016, but it will only vest if he passes 500 plate appearances. Otherwise it turns into a team option worth between $5 and $11 million. Considering that Utley has yet to reach 300 PA and the Phillies only play 45 more games, it appears as though he will come up short of that number. It's hard to imagine any team wanting to be on the hook for what's left of his contract though. At least the Yankees can be done with Drew when the season ends.
It doesn't sound like there are any decent external options, but what about improving second base internally? Cashman also said not to expect to see Rob Refsnyder again until the roster expands in September, which is troubling to hear. Refsnyder got the opportunity to play in four games in the majors around the time of the All-Star break but during that time he only picked up two hits, including a home run, while also making a fielding error. That is an incredibly small sample size, but it seems apparent that the Yankees don't like something about him. Sure, he's made 18 errors in Triple-A this season, but he's also hitting .282/.377/.422 with 9 home runs and 10 stolen bases. Maybe the Yankees are trying to keep his trade value up, but saying that Drew is better than him might not be the way to do it.
It may finally be time to accept the fact that Stephen Drew and Brendan Ryan will get the majority of the starts at second base for the rest of the season. Do you agree with Cashman that Drew is a better option than Refsnyder? Or would you rather see an outside option like Chase Utley given a chance?