clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Yankees Potential 2015 Free Agent Target: Stephen Drew

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

2014 Statistics: .162/.237/.299, 7 HR, 26 RBI, 44 wRC+, -1.1 wRC+

2015 Age: 31

Position: Shortstop/Second baseman

I know, I know; Stephen Drew was terrible last year. He didn't hit at all and he was shaky at second base. Even so, he might be one of the best options for the Yankees to begin the 2015 season.

If the Yankees were to sign Drew, they'd be looking for, and likely getting, a rebound year. Next year he'd be asked to fill in at his natural position of shortstop, which he's played very well over the course of his career. It also seems very unlikely that he could be as bad as he was at the plate. He mentioned his irregular preseasons over the last few years as a reason for some of his struggles, having to recover from surgery or sign late instead of starting a season with a normal spring training. Drew is finally healthy and getting back to his normal offseason routine should do wonders for him on both sides of the ball.

Signing Drew would be an excellent way to save money for the Yankees. The team needs more than a few positional upgrades and it wouldn't take much to upgrade over a 40-year-old Derek Jeter. Bringing in Drew on a cheap one-year deal and getting even a modest bounce-back season will lead to a net gain for the team. By saving money on Drew, they can then pour more money into starting pitching, David Robertson, and third base.

Even if Drew doesn't work out, it's a worthy gamble for a half-season. The Yankees have been big on upgrading at the trade deadline, and like they did last year, they could easily do it again. If Drew can't rebound by July, Brian Cashman might be able to go out and get a shortstop on a better deal than if they were to trade for one now. Jimmy Rollins will be owed $11 million in the last year of his contract, and Alexei Ramirez has one more year at $10 million with an option year for 2016. Both these men would cost a pretty penny in the offseason, but at the deadline could be had in another Ninja Cash move if the Yankees take on some of the remaining money.

If Stephen Drew can give the Yankees what he gave the Red Sox in 2013–109 wRC+, 3.4 WAR–his modest salary would be an absolute coup. Thanks to a terrible season under extenuating circumstances, one year of Stephen Drew could be the smartest decision this team could make. Let's stay away from the long-term contracts for now and try to get the best value across the board. If it doesn't work out, Cashman can strike a deal somewhere. If there's one thing that Brian Cashman is good at, it's wheeling and dealing. Build to your strengths.