Updated 04:19 AM EDT, Mon, Sep 21, 2020

MLB Trade Rumors 2014: New York Yankees Could Steal Stephen Drew From Mets, Opt-Out Clause Creates Impasse

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Free agent batter Stephen Drew has expressed his desire to sign a multi-year deal with the New York Mets, but with an opt-out clause after the first year.

Though the Mets are still the favorite to land the veteran shortstop, SB Nation writer Andrew Mearns felt the Yankees might have a solid chance of striking a deal with the former Boston Red Sox slugger.

Drew, who batted .253 with 13 homers and 67 RBIs last season, is surprisingly still a free agent up to this point. The Mets have been the frontrunner to land the service of the 30-year-old shortstop, but his latest contract demand might have given the team's front office second thoughts on whether to pursue a deal with Drew.

"Scott Boras wants an opt-out clause for Stephen Drew after Year 1 of a multiyear deal. That's not going to fly with the Mets, who otherwise still remain in play for the free-agent shortstop," ESPN reported.

According to reports, the Mets are planning to sign Drew to a three-year deal worth $11 million to $12 million annually. However, the batter's request to have an opt-clause after the first year is viewed as a risky move for the Mets, according to several baseball analysts.

Drew might be coming off a pretty solid season with the defending World Series champion Red Sox, but his Wins Above Replacement stats suggested that he's not overwhelmingly better than incumbent Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada.  

"In 2013, Drew had a 3.1 WAR and Tejada had a -0.9 WAR, suggesting Drew would be worth four more wins than Tejada. But that arguably is an extreme example. In 2012, for instance, Drew had a -0.4 WAR and Tejada had a 2.0. In 2011, they were even at 1.9 apiece," ESPN baseball insider Adam Rubin pointed out.

Yankees Ready To Strike

With the Mets having a hard time locking up Drew, the Yankees, led by general manager Brian Cashman, could bob out of nowhere and steal the shortstop from their intra-city rival.

The Yankees, who have already committed over $400 million in free agency spending this offseason, still feature one of the worst infields in Major League Baseball.

"Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira are both recovering from major injuries and could very well stand to miss more time if something goes wrong in their rehab, Brian Roberts is an injury just waiting to happen, Kelly Johnson had a mere 89 OPS+ over the two years prior to 2013, Brendan Ryan is not a major league hitter, and Eduardo Nunez was one of the worst players in Yankees history last year," Andrew Mearns of SB Nation explained.

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