The New York Mets are in the market for a shortstop, but there are red flags with the biggest names on the market.
Stephen Drew, 31, was given the $14.1-million qualifying offer by the Red Sox, which might be too pricey for the Mets’ blood. Reportedly, Drew wants a multi-year deal, but the Mets are reluctant to get bogged down on a long-term deal, considering what they’ve gone through over the past few years.
The Mets will also get competition from the Yankees, who like Drew’s left-handed bat in that bandbox of a stadium. The Yankees also need a shortstop because of the uncertainty surrounding Derek Jeter. There’s also the possibility of Jeter moving to third base if Alex Rodriguez is suspended.
Rafael Furcal, 36, is coming off an injury and a two-year, $14-million contract with the Cardinals.
There’s also 32-year-old Jhonny Peralta, who is coming off a three-year, $16.75 million contract with Detroit. Peralta has an offensive upside, but as with outfielder Nelson Cruz from Texas, there’s the specter of using performance-enhancing drugs. How much of their production is from them or the chemicals? It’s a legitimate concern.
Finally, there’s the Yankees’ Brendan Ryan, who made $3.25 million last year. Ryan would likely come at a reasonable salary and might not ask for the length of contract demanded by Drew or Peralta.
The Mets don’t know if they’ll have Ruben Tejada, who is recovering from a broken leg, and even when he was healthy last season he didn’t produce at the plate or in the field.