The Mets remain in contact with Scott Boras about free agent SS Stephen Drew, and they’re pursuing Drew similarly to the pursuit of Michael Bourn last winter, who’s market shrunk substantially toward spring training last winter (Carig, Dec. 29).
The Mets could opt to go with Ruben Tejada, who special assistant JP Ricciardi has said the team is comfortable with as their opening day shortstop (WEEI, Dec. 27).
Michael Baron, ContributorThe Mets are playing this right and saying all the right things in public by indicating Tejada is still an option. I don’t think that’s a lie – if the Mets can’t find someone else, Tejada is their shortstop by default.
Drew is a definite upgrade to Tejada right now, and he would bridge the gap between today’s lack of options at short to tomorrow’s bevy of options in Dilson Herrera, Amed Rosario and Gavin Cecchini. But, Drew’s not great, he clearly has a limited market at the moment, and teams don’t seem willing to pay the price in a trade to acquire other inexpensive options. This could leave the Mets in a good position to sign Drew on their terms as the offseason moves into the later stages.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox feel they have all the leverage in negotiations and may soon make a one-year, take-it-or-leave-it offer (Abraham, Dec. 27). The Mets are also only interested in signing Drew to a one or a two-year deal (Kernan, Dec. 23, Cafardo, Dec. 22).
In early December, Sandy Alderson said if he was going to upgrade shortstop with a high-profile player, it was more likely to happen via a trade than the free-agent market. However, while Diamonbacks SS Didi Gregorious and Indians SS Asdrubal Cabrera are reportedly available, the cost is currently high-end pitching, something the Mets have indicated they are unwilling to move right now (Carig, Dec. 29).