Could the New York Yankees soon change their tune about free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew?
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner previously stated his club didn’t need Drew. But a major league source told The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo the Yankees may change their thinking on whether to sign Drew if they find Derek Jeter can’t endure a full season at shortstop.
Jeter, in the midst of his 20th and final season, enters Sunday’s action hitting .252 with one homer, seven RBIs and a .325 on-base percentage in 28 games. The 39-year-old not only has struggled offensively, but he also has become a liability defensively, creating questions as to whether the Yankees might revisit the idea of signing Drew despite already having sure-handed shortstop Brendan Ryan as part of their current infield mix.
Drew rejected a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Boston Red Sox over the offseason to test the open market. The Scott Boras client has been unable to land a multiyear contract, though, and he remains a free agent despite the regular season being well underway.
There’s been speculation that the market for Drew might heat up after the June draft, as teams no longer would be required — as they currently are because of Boston’s qualifying offer — to surrender a draft pick to sign the 31-year-old. Cafardo’s source told him the Yankees don’t want the Red Sox to receive a draft pick so they’d wait until after the draft to sign Drew if they ultimately decide to add the veteran shortstop.