So did you enjoy the results of the Hall of Fame election? Did you enjoy not thinking about the 2015 Yankees for a little while? Well the Yankees' front office did not take the afternoon off. Just a little before 10:00 Eastern Time, Jon Heyman, who always seems to get these sudden Yankees scoops, revealed that the Yankees came to terms with Stephen Drew to bring him back on a one-year contract:
yankees will have deal with stephen drew. deal expected to come in at about $5M plus incentives to bring it to $6-7M.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 7, 2015
Idea is Drew will play 2B against at least RHs, serve as insurance at SS if Gregorius can’t handle being Jeter’s replacement— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 7, 2015
Well, it will certainly be fun to see the response from Yankees fans to this move. The Yanks of course traded for Drew at the Trade Deadline in 2014, and unlike the moves to acquire Brandon McCarthy, Chase Headley, and Martin Prado, this one blew up in their face. All Drew had to do was out-play the meager performance of Brian Roberts, struggling in what would be his final career season. After sitting out spring training and the first two months of the season, Drew was poor with the Red Sox, batting only .176/.255/.328 in 39 games. Somehow, he was even worse than both Roberts and first-half Drew, as over the season's final two months, he hit a dismal .150/.219/.271 while spending time at second base and shortstop. Overall, his 2014 season produced a 51 OPS+. Sterling.
Nonetheless, we will get the Stephen Drew Experience again in 2015. The Yankees likely feel cautious about turning second base over to rookies Robert Refsnyder or Jose Pirela without any competition, and I'd always felt that they would bring a veteran in to compete with them for the job. I just didn't expect them to bring Drew back after his poor season. Oh well.
I suppose it's always possible that should Drew struggle and Refsnyder excel, they hearken back to 2005 and cut him or heavily reduce his time like they did with Tony Womack when Robinson Cano was tearing up Triple-A. Who even knows at this point. (It would seem that Brendan Ryan has no spot on the team now, but I guess we'll see.) I generally don't oppose one-year contracts, so in the end, I'm not going to get too riled up about this, but given how poor Drew looked last year (no spring training aside), I don't have much confidence he'll resdiscover his 2013 form. Here's hoping he proves me wrong.