Sandy Alderson said this afternoon the New York Mets have the money to sign shortstop Stephen Drew “under the right circumstances.’’
An opt-out after one year is not one of those circumstances. Neither is Drew’s reported asking price of $15 million for a career .264 hitter. I don’t care how good his glove he flashes.
In addition to his contractual demands, there are other reasons why Alderson shouldn’t feed the speculation.
Just say, “No, we don’t have an interest in Drew.’’ He can always change his mind if something happens to Ruben Tejada.
Alderson said he’s happy with Tejada’s off-season commitment to getting in shape by attending a fitness camp in Michigan.
Two years ago Tejada had a good season in the first year without Jose Reyes. Now, Tejada might never equal Reyes’ offensive potential, but his .289 average and .333 on-base percentage in 2012, certainly is good enough to believe there’s a chance for more.
The Mets soured on Tejada because of his attitude and performance last year, which ended with him fracturing his leg. Alderson said upgrading shortstop was an off-season priority, but the prices for Drew and Jhonny Peralta excessive.
Although Alderson said Drew was affordable, it doesn’t make him a wise purchase, especially for a team on the build. Teams not expected to win don’t invest that kind of money on an average hitting shortstop. They do if he’s the missing piece, but the Mets need more than a few pieces.
The Mets are pointing to 2015, and Drew would be gone by then if they give him the opt-out.
If 2014 is simply a transition year, the Mets are better off giving Tejada this season and finding out what they have in him – after all, he’s 24 and Drew is 30.
The Mets can build around Tejada. As their roster is currently comprised, they can’t build around Drew.
Save the money for something else, perhaps for a missing piece at the trade deadline if this season exceeds all expectations.