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A few short years ago, the left side of the Yankee infield was one of the best in baseball. Well, at least from an offensive standpoint. Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez were still among the best hitters at their positions, even as they advanced into their mid-to-late 30s, and were permanent fixtures in key spots in the batting order. Fast forward to 2013 and oh how the mighty have fallen. The Captain and America's Most Hated Athlete combined to play just 61 games this season, the byproduct of a brutal combination of injury setbacks, MLB steroid probes, and natural age-related regression.
To their credit, the Yankees did attempt to bring in an MLB-caliber backup option for the left side when they went after free agent shortstop Stephen Drew last offseason. His value was down after a few declining years in Arizona and a mid-season trade to Oakland, but Drew turned down a higher dollar offer from the Yankees to sign a 1-year deal with Baaaahhhhhston and guarantee himself more playing time. After a much better 2013 season that ended with a championship parade, Drew is back out on the market this offseason and once again on the Yankees' radar.