Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
I’m totally torn on Stephen Drew. I keep flip-flopping on how I feel about him joining the Mets.
The debate going on at Citi Field, as is always the case, is about Drew’s overall value.
The way I understand it, Sandy Alderson and his staff believe Drew can add one to three wins to the team’s year-end total based on his expected production, compared to what they currently have in camp. At the same time, Drew is reportedly asking for at least $10 million a year, a three-year commitment and an opt-out clause after just one season (Rubin, Feb. 9).
This money would certainly be worth it to get from 88 to 91 wins, because that might mean the difference between going home or playing in October. Realistically, though, in the absence of Matt Harvey, among other holes, Drew is more likely the difference between, say, 78 and 81 wins this coming season. To do that, he would need to have very good season, after which he’ll most likely execute his opt-out and seek a better deal some place else. Is that really worth it to the Mets?
It’s not just about spending dollars, though. Drew would also mean fielding a more complete roster in 2014 – and that improved perception may help to further inspire fans and players about the overall direction of the franchise. Basically, he’s become a symbol of ownership’s effort to field the best possible product… or not.
At the same time, Drew would also cost a third-round draft pick, plus limit draft spending, while possibly throwing off Ruben Tejada‘s development. Tejada was worth roughly one to two extra wins during each 2011 and 2012. So, for significantly less money and commitment, and with more upside, he could be better than Drew, assuming Tejada is in shape, focused and ready to step up in camp.
In the end, the market is telling me Drew just isn’t that good. It’s not like every team has a good shortstop. There are a plenty of teams for whom Drew would be an upgrade. Demand at his position is high. And yet, it seems no one is willing to give him what he wants. And, if no one else is going to do it, why should the Mets?