Did Yankees Sign Stephen Drew To Play Second?

by Nik Swartz | Posted on Wednesday, January 7th, 2015
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Stephen Drew

New York Yankees second baseman Stephen Drew

According to FOX Sports MLB reporter Ken Rosenthal, the New York Yankees have inked free agent infielder Stephen Drew to a one-year $5 million deal, with the chance to earn $1.5 million in performance bonuses.
Drew was a free agent the past two off-seasons, but has never garnered the big bucks or long-term deal he has coveted; again this offseason Drew will be signed for just one season.
He has the potential to be a force with the Yankees, but he also has the chance to be on the DL as much as he is on the diamond this season.
After posting a solid campaign with the Boston Red Sox during their 2013 World Series run, playing on a one-year deal, the Sox offered Drew a $14.1 million qualifying offer, one Drew turned down with the belief he would do better on the open market.
Drew’s plan last season to get more years backfired. One of the reasons teams stayed away from signing him last offseason was because of the draft pick they would have to forfeit to do so.
Drew seemed too confident in what he believed he was worth, which left him without a team until the Sox came calling for his services again last May. Drew’s desire to hold out for more ended up costing him $4.1 million and clearly affected his play.
Drew only played 39 games with the Sox last season before the team made a rare trade with the rival Yankees. The Yankees traded Kelly Johnson for Drew, and received $500,000 from the Red Sox. Drew ended up playing 46 games with the Yankees last season.
Drew didn’t exactly “wow” anyone when he played; ending his 46 games in New York with a miserable .150 BA, with three home runs and 15 RBI.
There were rumors that a few teams had interest in Drew this offseason, but it never really looked like he would sign with anyone other than the Yankees.
Drew is a great defender and put up a solid .253/.333/.443 slash line in 2012 with the Red Sox. Even though this isn’t the big splash many Yankees fans want, it is at least a low risk/high reward move and it shows Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman is still trying to make moves to put a solid roster together in 2015, without having to spend too much money.
The biggest question mark surrounding this deal will be, “where will the Yankees play Drew?” A month ago the signing of Drew would have filled a big need for the Yankees, but things have changed in a month.
On December 5th the Yankees traded for the Arizona Diamondbacks young shortstop Didi Gregorius. In addition to Gregorius, the Yankees have veteran utility infielder Brendan Ryan lined up to play short.
According to Cashman Ryan will start the season in a platoon with Gregorius, so there is a strong possibility Drew was signed to compete for the starting second base spot with rookies Rob Refsnyder and José Pirela.
Drew’s agent Scott Boras said at the MLB Winter Meetings that his client would be open to making a move from short to second, which makes the signing of Drew a much better move than it would have been had the Yankees signed him to be the man who would replace Derek Jeter.

Follow Nik Swartz on Twitter @Sweetnesz13

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Nik Swartz
About the Author

Graduate of Penn State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication and Psychology, currently a counselor in Philadelphia. I started writing professionally in 1999 as the Penn State beat writer for the Milton Standard/Lewisburg Daily Journal in Pa. I have worked at eight daily newspapers as a Sports Writer/Editor - covering all high school sports, the NFL, professional baseball and professional hockey. A few sites I've written and/or contributed articles for include Rant Sports, Bleacher Report, FanSided and Pro Football Spot. Follow Nik on Twitter @Sweetnesz13.

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