Why Won’t Mets Sign Stephen Drew?

According to reports from NASA, Scott Boras is still trying to get astronauts into Flushing. Should the Mets consider signing Stephen Drew, Kendrys Morales, or Neil Armstrong?

Oops … Armstrong is off the table, since he passed away in August 2012. But, NJ native Buzz Aldrin is still around.

Kendrys Morales is a switch-hitting, middle-of-the-order slugger who would fit nicely in between David Wright and Curtis Granderson in the New York Mets 2014 lineup. However, his position is 1B, and the Mets have a glut there, so they’ll take their chances with an in-house solution that may or may not include Lucas Duda, Ike Davis, Josh Satin, Wilmer Flores, Zach Lutz, Brandon Allen, Allen Dykstra, and/or Daniel Murphy. Quantity over quality!

Then there is Stephen Drew. Drew has had an interesting career arc. When originally signed back in 2005, he was viewed as a potential middle-of-the-order bat who had good athleticism but wasn’t so slick with the glove, and therefore might eventually be moved to second base or the outfield. In his first few years in Arizona, he showed doubles and homerun power, he hit around .280, and was improving his OBP. Then he had a gruesome ankle injury that affected his ability to stay on the field in 2011 and 2012 (btw, the original injury occurred while trying to score from second on a base hit by new Met Chris Young). During those two injury-riddled years, Drew strangely transformed from a so-so shortstop with a big bat to a very solid defensive shortstop with a so-so bat. Last, in 124 games with the Red Sox, he continued to build his reputation as an excellent defender, while his offense remained questionable. He did pop 13 homers in 501 plate appearances, and posted a .777 OPS, but those numbers may have been padded by hitter-friendly Fenway Park — where he posted an .859 OPS in 68 games.

Or were they? Yes, his OPS / OBP / SLG / AVG were all at least 60 to 100+ points higher in Fenway. But he hit 7 of his 13 homers away from Boston, and, strangely enough, 7 of his 8 triples came in Fenway. Is Fenway a triples park? Or could there be more to the big numbers in the home park, beyond the park itself?

What’s interesting to me is that most of his second-half numbers were significantly better than the first half — he finished especially strong, with a big August and good September. Maybe he finally got back into the groove offensively after missing so many games over two years, and/or, maybe he was learning the AL pitchers. Perhaps the late offensive surge is a sign of better things to come, and perhaps a return to the NL can be an extra boost.

Here’s what I see: the Mets don’t have a MLB-caliber shortstop in their system currently. Looking through their minor-league system, the closest they have to a potential MLB shortstop within the next three years (other than Ruben Tejada) is former first-round pick Gavin Cecchini has been underwhelming in his first two years of pro ball, and would seem to be at least 3 years away. Phillip Evans, a fifteenth-round pick and one year older than Cecchini, has been more dismal and will have to make big strides in ’14 to remain in pro ball. Wilfredo Tovar had a cup of coffee this past September, but appears to be a lesser version of Ruben Tejada — he’s a solid but unspectacular fielder with no pop and little hope for being an average offensive player at the MLB level. At age 22 and turning 23 next August, Tovar will have to show marked improvement with the bat next year to be considered a potential everyday MLB shortstop.

Since the Mets aren’t exactly brimming with “ready now” shortstops at the higher levels of their system, why wouldn’t they plug that gaping hole in the infield — a position some consider the most important on the field after the pitcher — for the next two to three years with a player who has proven to be an excellent defender and will provide at least average offense, with the possibility of being above-average, with power? It wouldn’t surprise me if Stephen Drew turned out to be a better offensive player than Chris Young in 2014, and through 2016, in fact.

There’s the argument that the Mets could acquire a younger, hotshot shortstop via trade. Sure, but it’s going to cost one of their top pitching prospects — why not save those bullets for something else, or hold onto them? And I’m not sure it makes sense to wait for next winter’s free agents, because the pickings are looking slim — the top names, barring extensions, will be Jed Lowrie, Asdrubal Cabrera, J.J. Hardy, Jimmy Rollins, and Yunel Escobar. Some of those were nice names two years ago, but for 2015 and beyond? Not so much. (My apologies to the Lowrie lovers, but 2013 was his first full season, and I’m betting he’ll cost about the same as Drew, if not more, when he hits the open market.)

Then there’s the argument that the Mets would lose a second draft pick — a third rounder — if they sign Drew. Well, yeah, but, aren’t they building for 2015? When will a 2014 third-round draft pick start making a contribution at the MLB level — if at all? In 2020? The Mets didn’t even sign their 2012 third-round pick, and there’s no guarantee that a) they’ll sign their 2014 third-round pick; or, b) money will be better spent on a third-round draft pick than put toward Stephen Drew.

With Matt Harvey out all year, presumably, 2014 is a year of assembling pieces for 2015 and beyond. Stephen Drew turns 31 in March, so he’ll be age 33 in the final year of a three-year contract — sure, you’d prefer younger, but that’s not exactly a senior citizen, and defensive specialists at prime positions tend to maintain their most valuable skills and overall value longer than one-tool hitters. Why wouldn’t the Mets want to lock up a shortstop through 2016? It may not even have to be a guaranteed three-year deal — for all we know, Drew may accept a two-year deal that includes easy incentives for a third year to kick in.

You may not be high on Stephen Drew for one reason or another — perhaps because he seems too expensive, or too injury prone. I’m sure many fans see the Bartolo Colon signing with similar disdain. But the fact is, there are holes that the Mets absolutely need to fill to make a step forward in 2014, and the options are disappearing quickly. Stephen Drew can be had for a relatively fair contract in terms of cost and length (compared to what we’ve seen thus far this offseason), and can be obtained without giving up a prized prospect.

Of course, if the Mets are on the verge of trading Rafael Montero for Chris Owings or Jurickson Profar, then I understand why they’re hesitating to make a solid offer to Drew. But otherwise, there would seem to be a strong argument to consider Drew’s services for the next three years.

What’s your thought? Am I off my rocker? Is there something about Drew, in-house options, next year’s free agents, or the current trade market, that I may be missing? Sound off in the comments.

Mets Item of the Day

Once again, I’m suggesting the New York Mets 50th Anniversary Collector’s DVD SET, because not enough of you ordered it a week ago and I’m certain that if you don’t want it for yourself, surely there is someone you know who would love to receive it for Christmas — and if you order it today, and choose next-day shipping, you (or your friend / family member) will get it on Christmas Eve (I believe Santa will deliver it himself!). Follow the link or click on the below image to purchase from Amazon.


Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. blastingzone December 23, 2013 at 6:14 am
    Great article, I have been sitting here for the last two weeks wondering why the mets don’t try to sign Drew?
    They spent 7.25 million on an outfielder who hit 200
    last year but they won’t go after a SS because he cost
    to much! If they had not wasted the money to sign Young
    they could have come close depending on which figure you believe to having the money to sign Drew and pluging
    a big hole for the next three years and another thing which I find funny is the mets gave Granderson a four year deal
    starting at age 33 but won’t go three years on Drew who is two years younger! The mets finally broke down and spent
    big money this year but if they don’t go all out instead of stopping they may have spent the money in vain because even though they have made a good effort there still short,
    does that mean signing Drew will put them over the top,
    maybe or maybe not but signing him would make the mets
    a lot better and instead of an automatic out every time
    Tejada bats they will get a lot of production which means
    not just base hits but rbi’s not to mention defense!! Even if
    Tejada has a good year he will hit one hr and drive in 30 rbi’s or so and Drew will hit at least ten or more hr’s and drive in at least 50-60 rbi’s or more which will blow away
    Tejada’s #’s and play better defense!!
    • DonOBrien December 23, 2013 at 9:31 am
      Hey Blastingzone, I totally agree with you and Janish. Well said. Lets contend now in 2014. By the way, I’m so appreciative of your comments that I’ll send you some of my periods. Just kidding, good post.
  2. meticated December 23, 2013 at 6:14 am
    the worst case is he’s just slightly above average defensively and offensively…though paying Tejada not so much dough equalizes Drew’s cost…he’s at a place in his career that he’s been through adversity…been on a championship team…and endured Scott Boras …Drew is a necessity if we want to compete and his middle infield D merges synchronously with Lagares …Young…I say dip the wilpons quill in the inkwell and use the royal mets seal …not the whiskered flipped version
  3. Steve Hussy December 23, 2013 at 8:28 am
    Yes, Drew for two years seems a perfect fit. Even overpaying to preserve prospects. The sticking point is that the Red Sox will offer the same sort of deal, and he’ll have a guaranteed post-season with them.

    How much would the Mets have to overpay? Five million? More? I’m certainly not high on Tejada. He could perhaps become tolerable, but Drew seems an important piece for the next couple of years.

  4. DaveSchneck December 23, 2013 at 10:25 am
    Excellent article. I am big on the Mets fielding a playoff caliber team in 2014, and still believe that they can do so. I agree that the Mets simply cannot go into 2014 with Tejada penciled as the SS, barring a major acquisition that can allow them to “hide” Tejada should he be more like the 2013 version than the 2011-12 version. And, I don’t want to hear about the payroll “restrictions” baloney froma NY team. But, and that is a big but, I do not think they should spend on Drew beyond 2 years unless it is for a team-friendly AAV less than $10 mil/season.

    Drew is no savior or impact player, but adding him would allow Lagares to hit 8th when he plays. More importantly, the possibility would exist that the Mets could flash above average D at 7 of 8 positions if Ike is retained, with gold glove caliber D at 3B and CF. That is something I really like, and the pitchers would like more than me. Add a decent back end arm to the pen for some Parnell insurance and the team, even with a bunch of question marks, is solid. While the offense is far from elite, with several uncertainties, I think they could muster enough O, combined with potential better than average pitching and D, to compete. And, being good is not only important for the fanbase and revenues, it is important for the young core being developed to compete for the next five years. Very tempting to find a way to get Drew on the team. Hopefully Alderson can find a way to do it in a fiscally responsible manner.

  5. Eric Kench December 23, 2013 at 11:15 am
    Because he’s not worth $15 mil per. That’s why.
    • Joe Janish December 24, 2013 at 8:42 pm
      That’s quite a detailed supporting argument.

      BTW, this isn’t Twitter, so you can explain yourself beyond 140 characters.

  6. Herman_Metsville December 23, 2013 at 1:21 pm
    I agree that signing Drew to a two-year contract would be an excellent move for the Mets. I also believe that the main impediment to this deal is — surprise — money. I suspect that the Mets are not even willing to match his 2013 salary, reportedly $9.5 mil. The one thing the Mets have going for them in this situation is that there doesn’t seem to be a market for Drew. A good compromise might be a two year contract, base of $8 mil. per year, with up to $3 mil. per year in incentives.
  7. Shecky Shabazz December 23, 2013 at 1:28 pm
    You make a strong case for signing Drew here. But Tejada is still young and not far removed from his solid 2012, when he was hitting for a decent average, drawing plenty of walks, and playing steady defense.

    While not flashy, he was looking like the least of our problems that year, which itself was a nice progression from his 2011.

    It’s very possible that 2013 was just one of those nightmare seasons, and that now that he has that out of his system, he’s ready to continue his development into a reliable player. He certainly seems motivated this time around, attending the fitness camp and whatnot.

    Giving Tejada one more chance, spending Drew’s money on some bullpen pieces, and relying on improvement from existing players like d’Arnaud, Lagares, and Young to pick up the offensive slack wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

    • Joe Janish December 24, 2013 at 8:51 pm
      I’m curious about the fat farm to which Tejada and Duda were sent. Was that something more or less forced upon them?

      Here’s what concerns me: Tejada wasn’t exactly an elite prospect who put up big numbers in his minor league career. So was it possible that his impressive play in ’11 and ’12 was more about luck than anything else? The statheads point to high BABIP in both years and suggest regression. An old-schooler like me uses the “eye test” and sees Anderson Hernandez.

      He could bounce back. He could also be a .260 hitter / .310 OBP guy with no power and average defense. Which would be Rafael Santana and would fine if the rest of the club was strong — but it’s not.

    • Dan B December 25, 2013 at 10:11 am
      Tejada’s 2012 season was not that solid. He excelled in the first half but once pitchers started paying attention, his numbers plummeted. His second half was bad but most didn’t notice because people stopped watching. His minor league numbers reflect the second half more then the first half.
  8. Tom December 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm
    Joe, you make a very valid point that SS is a gaping hole for the Mets. But not just defensively. If Ruben Tejada were adequate and consistent enough to say he is an acceptable 7 or 8 hitter, losing out on Drew wouldn’t hurt as much. The problem is Tejada (and Tovar or Quintanilla if re-signed for that matter) are below average 7/8 hitters you can’t expect much out of. It is a like a slightly better hitting Rey Ordonez, with much lower quality defense.

    The problem is how the rest of the line-up is structured. The rest of the line-up is pretty set and I doubt any trades will be made to revamp the foundation this off-season. Trading Murphy would actually be counterproductive and the OF seems set. If they actually traded both Ike and Duda, EY would play 2B and Murph would slide over to 1B, expanding the lack of power in the line-up. Chances are they don’t have the money to sign both Drew and Morales, so I won’t even mention it.

    With Drew, these are two-line-ups I envision for 2014:

    Murphy/Lagares/Wright/Granderson/Drew/Davis or Duda (with Satin or Flores as platoon)/C.Young/d’Arnaud (or Murphy and Lagares can be flipped)

    EY Jr./Murph/Wright/Granderson/Drew/Davis or Duda(with Satin or Flores as platoon)/Lagares or C.Young/d’Arnaud

    If Tejada, Tovar or Quintanilla were the starting SS again, that means Ike Davis or Lucas Duda with a platoon of Satin or Flores bats 5th, which is not good and might even drop Granderson’s ability to see fastballs because of the lesser protection. In the first line-up, C.Young moves up to the 6 slot (which assumes he’ll improve beyond his pathetic .200 BA) and it pushes d’Arnaud up to the 7 slot (assuming he improves this season, which we hope and expect, but can’t guarantee). In the second line-up, it is even worse because you may have Lagares batting 6th, who doesn’t have much power.

    Now if Kendrys Morales were batting 5th and they traded Ike and Duda (or traded Davis and held Duda in AAA if Morales were on a one year deal), that’d give Granderson better protection and the fact he is a switch hitter wouldn’t hurt either. This still wouldn’t solve the problem of C.Young, Lagares or d’Arnaud batting 6th or 7th.

    If they used EY at 2B and moved Murph over to 1B (probably only going to happen occasionally or if there is an injury), you than take Ike and Duda out of the line-up, meaning it goes EY/Murph/Wright/Granderson/C.Young/Lagares/d’Arnaud/Tejada. For lack of a better way of saying it, this line-up sucks.

    If they sign Drew, he bats 5th. If Ike or Duda have break out years, he can always move down to 6th. If d’Arnaud, Lagares and C.Young improve, great. But you can’t expect it.

    The Mets cleared enough payroll this off-season for the signings of Granderson, Colon and Drew to be possible. I know Alderson wants it. Profar, Owings or other top prospects are more likely to cost someone higher than Montero (i.e. Syndergaard, d’Arnaud), which Alderson won’t do, and rightfully so. Or if it did take Montero, it would take a bigger package (i.e. Montero, deGrom, Mazzoni). Maybe more.

    Signing Drew may not get the Mets in the postseason, but it will get them closer. Signing Drew and Morlaes might be a good enough push for a wild card run. Or with Drew and no Morales, at least positioned to make that postseason leap forward with Harvey in 2015.

  9. Tom December 23, 2013 at 2:38 pm
    Drew isn’t a 15MM player. Not even in this inflated market. But if he were worth that much, that would have been so a month ago. Not now. He still is worth 10-12MM though. Boras realizes that even if he waits out the A-Rod situation and he is suspended for all of next season (most likely to happen), the Yankees just may not want to give Drew 3 years. Especially to play 3B (They won’t slam Jeter’s ego by sliding him over). Interestingly though, if Drew were about to sign with the Yankees, the Mets could potentially block Drew to the Yankees by trading Murphy to the Yankees to play 3B (or Flores if they thought he was worth a chance), blocking the Drew signing and picking up prospects and/or bullpen pieces. By doing this, it lessens Drew’s market value. It may even make Drew want to sign a 1 year deal so he can re-test the market next year (which for the Mets might not be a good thing because they could run into the same problem next year with a more inflated potential contract).

    Earlier this off-season, there were rumors about Drew wanting 5yr/75MM after Peralta’s 4yr/53MM. While we might have not believed 5yr/75MM was possible (just like K-Rod back in ’08-09 off-season), we thought 4 yr/53MM for Drew was possible (just like K-Rod, which with his vesting option that never vested was that same figure). K-Rod wound up getting 3yr/37.5MM, probably about the same what Drew will get, if the Yankees are players in his market.

    If the Yankees aren’t in on him or are only mildly, who is going to give him 3 years? Boston has Boegarts. They don’t need Drew back that bad. Minnesota isn’t going to do that after all of their pitching signings. Where Boston and Minnesota can get the Mets is by offering more money in those 2 years. Drew also just won a WS in Boston, so a tie or even a couple less million may keep him in Boston. Let’s say Boston offered him 2 yr/23MM. Even if the Mets offered him 2 yr/26MM, he might rejected it. But if the Mets offered him 3yr/33MM guaranteed with no vesting or option years, he might take it.

    • Joe Janish December 24, 2013 at 8:53 pm
      I keep seeing “$15M” posted here in the comments — is that what Boras is publicly asking for? I haven’t seen that figure, but I also don’t spend much time browsing the blogs and twitter.

      In this market, he’s certainly worth $12M per year for 2-3 years. I agree with making an initial year of two years and negotiating from there. But, will the Mets make any offer at all?

  10. Bill December 23, 2013 at 9:10 pm
    Hi Joe, I guess I am one of the few that is not in the Drew camp. I just posted this in another blog:

    If I were handling this team, I would tell Scott Boras the same thing I tell all other telemarketers: DO NOT CALL ME BACK. Stephen Drew is not the answer. Sometime in the next year, the shortstop situations in Arizona, Texas, and Oakland will be resolved and there will be a much better young shortstop than Drew available via trade that the Mets can build with long-term. Don’t clog things up with a two or three year contract and then not have any reason to trade for one of the young guys that could help for many years. I guess I could be OK for one year to fill a gap, but no more. He is just not that good a player.

    Secondary, it does not solve the lead-off issue that could be solved by a different shortstop. .

    The Mets need to make a trade: they have to clarify the first base situation by clearing either Davis or Duda (or both). What are they going to get in return? They should work a package to get a good young shortstop back. It may take some creativity (three team?), but a trade from excess should be to fill a hole – and there is none bigger than shortstop now.

    Lastly, I know it would be painful to not have a better solution this year, but I think Lowrie and Cabrerra are both better options next year than Drew will be after 2014. I stand by my core thought – don’t clog it up and miss a potentially much better opportunity.

    • Joe Janish December 24, 2013 at 9:00 pm
      1. A 2- or 3-year contract shouldn’t “clog up” a MLB club. Certainly not one based in NYC.

      2. Why would the loser of a shortstop competition from Arizona, Texas, or Oakland necessarily be better than Drew?

      3. Isn’t it better to hold onto trade chips, if possible, to address other holes that can’t currently be filled via free agency?

      4. Who’s to say the Mets can’t sign Drew and still acquire a younger/better shortstop next year? There’s nothing wrong with having depth, for trade purposes, and there’s also the possibility of moving Drew or the acquired shortstop to second base.

      5. I’m not sure how Lowrie or Cabrera are better options than Drew — neither have performed at the same ceiling, especially in terms of power, and they’re of similar ages.

      6. Telemarketers have feelings, too.

  11. Tom December 23, 2013 at 9:44 pm
    Bill, I agree with you that Stephen Drew is not that good a player. But the quesiton comes down to whether or not you want to concede the season. I’d love Drew on a 1 or 2 year deal too, but he might command more than that. Tejada is not good enough to start at the professional level, he is defensively mediocre as a SS and has a questionable work ethic and attitude. Even if Tejada were good enough to start, he can only bat 7th or 8th and if he led off or batted second, we’d suck. The difference between Drew and Tejada might be 5 or 6 wins, which may or may not be the difference between a real playoff push.

    Hypothetically, let’s say we had a chance to sign Lowrie or Cabrera. On 3/36, we’d probably both agree it’d be worth it. But is it worth it if they command 4 or 5 years? If Peralta could get 4 this year, why couldn’t they get more? Signing Drew might be smarter now because the Wilpons’ are too cheap to invest 60-80MM in a Lowrie type player (not saying that wouldn’t be overspending, but that is just how this market works).

    Why couldn’t we trade Drew next off-season though? Or if the Mets aren’t competitive this year, why can’t we trade him at the deadline? So long as Drew continues to produce as he did with Boston, he’ll contain good trade value. The idea of signing a FA SS or trading for an SS wouldn’t be out of the woods. Likewise, if Colon has a good year in 2014, he seems to be the most ideal SP candidate to trade once Harvey is back, and one or two of Syndergaard, Montero and deGrom are in the rotation.

  12. Tom December 23, 2013 at 9:45 pm
    When I say Drew isn’t that good, I mean he isn’t great. Like he is a solid player, but nothing to expect great figures out. Pretty much what his stats were last year are what should be expected which is above average for a position that tends to provide low production.
  13. Tom December 23, 2013 at 9:52 pm
    Plus, I still don’t understand why the Mets cut Justin Turner. He really was a solid back-up, spot starter, righty bat off the bench, a good clubhouse presence and could play every IF position adequately. If Tovar is on the roster, he’d only get 300-400k less. If Tejada is the back-up, he’ll get the same salary as a super two. With the Mets trying to squeeze money on bench players, yet not wanting to dump Tejada (unless they hold him in AAA which would be pointless), they likely figured Tejada was more worth the investment of a back-up IF role at the same money (given his age and somewhat potential). This might been they really are going for that SS.

    If the Mets couldn’t fill any of their LF vacancy, RF vacancy or SP vacancy via trade, nor have they been able to get a set-up man via trade, nor have they been able to get back a fair return on Ike or Duda, it says the trade market as large either isn’t in the Mets interests or Alderson’s tastes. With that being said, signing a SS like Drew seems to be a clear choice and match. The fact Boras is his agent does suck and Alderson shouldn’t play his game. Alderson should pick a figure he is not willing to exceed (i.e. 3 yr/36MM) if bidding gets competitive.

  14. argonbunnies December 24, 2013 at 5:28 am
    It’s important for the Mets to get from Terrible to Okay at SS, but Drew comes at a high price and might not be much better than Okay. Is there a team out there who has Okay MLB SS who’s being pushed by a hot prospect, and might trade their major leaguer for a package the Mets can live without?

    The only combos that come to mind are Castro-Baez and Gregorius-Owings, but Gregorius might be less than Okay and Baez probably isn’t ready for 2014.

    Here’s a thought — trade Murphy for J.J. Hardy. The O’s can put Murph at 3B and Machado at SS. The O’s save some cash and get an extra year of team control. The Mets get a proven Okay player for 2014 with an inside track on bringing him back for 2015 if they want. I think this move makes a lot of sense, but am having trouble getting enthused by it, as I like Murphy more than I like Hardy…

    • Joe Janish December 24, 2013 at 9:21 pm
      Is it really a “high” price? In a market where a fourth (or fifth?) outfielder like Chris Young gets $7.25M? A solid, good-fielding shortstop with the potential to hit 15-20 HR is worth at least double Chris Young, no?
      • argonbunnies December 24, 2013 at 11:39 pm
        Are you suggesting Drew could be had for 1 year at $15 mil? I’d do that in a heartbeat.

        For 3 years at that rate, pass. You ain’t gonna win the injury/decline roulette 3 years in a row.

        I guess 2 yrs would be okay if the Mets could afford it.

      • argonbunnies December 24, 2013 at 11:40 pm
        Are you suggesting Drew could be had for 1 year at $15 mil? I’d do that in a heartbeat.

        For 3 years at that rate, pass. You ain’t gonna win the injury/decline game 3 years in a row.

        I guess 2 yrs would be okay if the Mets could afford it.

        • Joe Janish December 25, 2013 at 2:01 am
          I agree, Drew is worth a one-year, $15M deal if he’d take it. I think he’s worth at least $28M for two years, in a market that grants Jhonny Peralta 4/$52M. Is Drew worth 3/$42-45M? Maybe not, but the Mets are in a position where they’re going to have to overpay. The idea is that by the winter of 2015-2016, the Mets are sitting in a much more positive position, and having Drew for one more year at up to $15M shouldn’t be a big deal — mainly because $15M won’t be worth as much as it is now, but also because the Mets should be a postseason contender by then and therefore have more revenues. The escalation of salaries won’t be reversing anytime soon.

          The worst that can happen is that Drew continues to have leg issues that keep him from playing — pretty much, the main thing that prevented the Mets from making a reasonable offer to Jose Reyes. If it turns out that Drew’s contract is an albatross that keeps the team from competing in 2015-2016, the Mets don’t belong in MLB and they really screwed up on the Nimmo and Cecchini picks, because one of those kids should be making a contribution by then to offset Drew’s worst-case scenario.

  15. Vilos December 24, 2013 at 9:59 am
    The key to this puzzle is what SA gets in return for Ike.
    • Joe Janish December 24, 2013 at 9:23 pm
      I’m not sure Ike brings back anything other than a middle reliever or a similar “change of scenery” guy.

      But regardless, please explain how an Ike Davis trade affects the shortstop situation. I’m not being a smart-ass, I’m genuinely curious. Would the player coming back be a chip for another trade?

      • Vilos December 25, 2013 at 12:45 am
        My reasoning is pretty simple. If SA deals Ike for a salary dump and a middle reliever, then he has a better chance of going after Drew than if he had to keep him.

        On the other hand, who’s to know what SA can get for Ike. I wouldn’t count out some kind of prospect or somebody to compete with Tejada.

        Finally, if the Mets were to just go out an sign Drew, then the balance changes and the other teams expect them to become more desperate to get rid of him.

        • Joe Janish December 25, 2013 at 2:14 am
          OK, thanks for clarifying.

          MAYBE Ike is part of a package that brings back a shortstop, though I’m not seeing it. Of course, what the heck do I know? Anything can happen.

          As far as clearing payroll, the Mets can cut Ike Davis loose, and have somewhere around $3.5-4M free on the payroll.

          I get the feeling that any teams interested in Ike Davis are going to wait out the Mets, expecting them to release him by the end of March. He didn’t show enough in 2013 to warrant a team giving up anything decent to obtain him. My bet is that most teams are looking at Ike Davis as another Chris Davis — try to get him included as a throw-in in a trade, or pick him up for a borderline prospect. I don’t get the sense that there are several teams lining up for his services and willing to compete in a trade offer; rather, I see a few teams viewing him as a low-risk, high-reward guy to keep an eye on, and if he hits the waiver wire, jump on him.

          But, I could be wrong.

  16. mckeeganson December 24, 2013 at 4:37 pm
    Argon, I have been a proponent of the same trade, and wonder how open Baltimore would be to it. Unlike you however, I like Hardy much better then Murphy, as his offensive production is similar, but he’s also an elite defender as opposed to Murph, with a long, productive track record. I actually think Baltimore would be foolish to make the trade without demanding a second asset. I plan on breaking this possible trade idea down, in further detail, in the near future.
    • Joe Janish December 24, 2013 at 9:24 pm
      Isn’t Drew essentially Hardy, except the Mets wouldn’t have to trade for him?
      • argonbunnies December 24, 2013 at 11:43 pm
        Which would you rather have, Daniel Murphy or $14 mil? In the quest to turn this team around, I’d say that if we have a solid internal 2B option, take the $14 mil. If Flores/Young/Satin/etc. aren’t up to it, tougher call.
      • argonbunnies December 24, 2013 at 11:45 pm
        Also, I don’t think Drew’s peak or longevity with the glove has matched Hardy’s. But I could be wrong.
        • Joe Janish December 25, 2013 at 2:24 am
          To me the track record doesn’t matter that much toward the comparison of projecting the next three years for both players. I see Drew as someone who, if healthy, has the potential to hit around .260 with 15-20 HR, .750+ OPS, and provide solid if unspectacular defense. I see Hardy as hitting around .250-.260 with 20-25 HR, .725-.750 OPS, and providing about the same defense. Hardy might hit more HRs, and MIGHT be more likely to avoid the DL, but may not be as productive overall (OBP + SLG + AVG). As far as predicting health, Hardy has been healthier over the past two years, but had similar ankle issues as recently as 2011, so is not necessarily a guarantee. Hardy is a year older, for whatever that’s worth.

          Bottom line: to me, they’re very close.

  17. DanB December 24, 2013 at 11:55 pm
    if the Mets sign Drew, who hits lead off? Either they get rid of Murphy or replace Young or Lageres with a leadoff hitter. If they replace Murphy with a leadoff hitter, who hits second?
    • Joe Janish December 25, 2013 at 2:27 am
      Who hits leadoff regardless of whether they sign Drew?

      The Mets don’t have a leadoff hitter, and don’t seem to be in the hunt for one. It’s looking now like they’re going to have a big hole at the top of the lineup. They need at least one more high-OBP guy / table-setter, and I’m not sure where that person will fit.

      • Dan B December 25, 2013 at 10:02 am
        I wasn’t arguing against Drew as much as pointing out the Mets need a leadoff hotter and they are running out of positions to place him. It is a bad reflection of team planning.
  18. mike December 26, 2013 at 5:04 pm
    Is there a legitimate chance of getting profar? if so, for what? it wasnt too long ago that i remember “experts” calling him a cant-miss prospect and hes still just 21.