The Yanks appear to be all done with the Major League free agent market now that we've entered the final week of the offseason before pitchers and catchers report. Per Adam Rubin's latest report, they might want to rethink that strategy and make a move for Stephen Drew.
According to Rubin, Scott Boras is looking for a multi-year deal with an opt-out clause after the 1st year for Drew. That's enough to scare off the Mets, and the rest of MLB already hasn't been quick to jump at Drew thanks mainly to the draft pick forfeiture that comes with him. Drew makes a ton of sense for the Yankees for baseball reasons, not so much on business reasons. This opt-out clause could actually work to their advantage in reducing some of that business risk on the deal.
The Yanks only have to give up a 2nd round pick to sign Drew right now because they've already sacrificed their other ones for their previous signings. By agreeing to the clause and signing Drew to say, a 3-year deal, they're now covering their baseball and business bases. Drew would be an automatic upgrade at third, more insurance for Jeter and an option to take over and bridge the shortstop gap to somebody else when Jeter retires, and would bump Kelly Johnson to the utility bench role where he can spell Brian Roberts at second, Drew at third, and Carlos Beltran in the outfield. If he decides to opt out after this season, make him another qualifying offer and give yourself a chance to get a better draft pick back than the one you gave up. If Drew signs somewhere else, the Yanks get a 1st round comp pick. If he doesn't, they have a starting shortstop. It's a win-win.
I know I balked at the idea of going too hard for Drew and getting sucked into Boras' mindgames the last time I wrote about him, but with this new wrinkle it makes too much sense for the Yankees now. They should get back involved, reach out to Boras, and get some talks going. If Drew can be had on a reasonable 3-year deal, I say they have to pull the trigger to improve the team this year and potentially improve their draft slot if they lose him next year.
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