YOU’RE STEPHEN DREW and you are running out of teams that have the money to meet your contract demands and you’re worried that your agent, Scott Boras, has been blowing sunshine up your skirt, when he tells you there are “numerous options to choose from.”
And the Red Sox are looking better and better.
You and Boras turned down the Sox qualifying offer of $14 million for one year.
YOU’RE STEPHEN DREW and now you are privately doing the math in your head and a 3-year deal for $42 million and playing on a contending team, the defending World Champs, sounds more appealing every day.
Boras tells you that you will get your “career” contract: a long-term deal that will take you to the end of your playing days. He compares you to Peralta, who got a 4-year, $53-million contract from the Cardinals.
Boras reminds you that you are still the best shortstop, a premium position, on the FA market and you will get your multi-year, career money contract.
He tells you that you have proven you can thrive in Boston, a high-pressure media environment, so how hard could it be to play in say, Los Angeles, or New York?
Boras tells the media that you can fart unicorns during a double play and you’re going to have “numerous options to choose from. Obviously there is a variety of teams that want a shortstop of his defensive acumen.”
YOU’RE STEPHEN DREW and you wonder how many teams will be able to pay what Boras is demanding. And you look at the list of last year’s payrolls:
#1 The Yankees have swung from the free-spending days of “The Boss,” George Steinbrenner to the Luxury Tax worriers, the Steinbrenner Boys. They have already pushed their budget signing McCann, Ellsbury, and Beltran, so maybe they are satisfied with Jeter at SS and with Brendan Ryan at SS, when Jeter fills the DH slot.
#2 The Dodgers just re-signed Jose Uribe, who has given them better than average production from the 3rd base slot and that eliminates the need to move shortstop Hanley Ramirez to third base and find a starting SS.
#3 The Phillies signed free agent Marlon Byrd and they are looking at another OF, Angels‘ Peter Bourjos, but they appear to be willing to start their Old Reliable DP Combo, Rollins-Utley on Opening Day 2014 and they like the defensive skills of Freddy Galvis, a switch-hitter and they have Kevin Frandsen too.
#4 The Red Sox got burned with “Crawford Money” contracts; why get into a multi-year deal, that would push them into Luxury Taxes, when they can have Xander Bogaers for half-a-million for a few years? Cherington seems satisfied to start 2014 with Bogaerts at SS and Middlebrooks at 3b; he probably has done the math and figures that it will be easier to find a 3b to replace Middlebrooks and let Bogaerts start his SS career at Fenway.
A guy like Michael Young would be a less expensive solution than you.
#5 The Tigers GM is satisfied with his infield make-over: “I think we’ve changed with our athleticism at this point. ..We’ve changed the middle of our diamond with [Ian Kinsler] and [Jose Iglesias] on board and [Miguel Cabrera] moving over. I think we’ve changed the look of the team.” — Dombrowski
#6 The Giants are still interested a right-handed veteran or two who can stabilize the bullpen. Morse’s acquisition gives the Giants a right-handed-batting complement to share left field with left-handed-batting Gregor Blanco.
Besides, they love Crawford’s electric play at SS and have veteran Jaoquin Arias and switch-hitting Ehire Adrianza on the bench.
#7 The Angels have Trout to pay and the Poo Holes Contract around their neck and have focused on reloading with an affordable rotation. They have Aybar and switch-hitting Andrew Romine and Tommy Field on their depth chart.
#8 The White Sox have admitted they are in re-build mode, so, except for Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Abreu and Garcia, the roster is FOR SALE. Not in the pennant hunt for 2014, the Sox have no use for an expensive SS to help them finish a few fewer games out of the Playoffs.
By the time you get to the Toronto payroll at #9 in MLB, you are into teams who spend less than half than the #1 Yankees. The Jays blew a ton of cash for 2013 and flopped; they are not in a spending mood.
#9 The Cardinals are NL Champions and satisfied with free-agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta to a deal believed to be worth $52 million.
YOU’RE STEPHEN DREW and, as the teams seeking a SS dwindle down to single digits, Boras tells you that the Mets [#24 in MLB payroll] are ready to sign you to a three-year deal, but Alderson needs to clear some salary space by trading Ike Davis; that would reduce the Mets payroll by $3.125 million.
You do the math and Alderson will need to find many more millions to pay you $52 million for 4 years.
Then, Alderson signs El Viego Gordo, Bartolo Colon, to a 2-year deal at $10 million a year.
Then, you read in Trade Rumors today [Dec. 16]:
- “I think it’s more likely if we come up with a ‘high-end’ shortstop or someone we like, it’s more likely to come in a trade,” Alderson told reporters, including Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. This seems to hint that the Mets have moved on from Stephen Drew…The Mets have been linked to Drew this winter but aren’t eager to give the shortstop a two-year contract.
- The Mets feel like they would have to overpay to sign Drew…
YOU’RE STEPHEN DREW and the bloggers are finding fault with you; they say:
- Over the last several years, Drew has not been swinging the bat on a consistent basis. Even in 2013, Drew had his fair share of prolonged slumps at the plate.
- Drew whiffed 124 last season in 442 at-bats – a total that would have led the Mets.
- He can be inconsistent at the plate.
- Injuries have also been a problem for Drew over the last several years. In 2013, he suffered a concussion in Spring Training, and during the season, he also logged time on the DL with a strained hamstring. Looking at his last three seasons (2011-2013), Drew has averaged only 96 games or just a little more than a half season worth of play.
YOU’RE STEPHEN DREW and you ask Boras to float a 2-year deal with the Red Sox for $30 million; it’s shorter than you wanted, but it’s $2 million more than the qualifying offer annual salary and then there’s the Playoff and World Series bonuses.
YOU’RE STEPHEN DREW and your game of Free Agent Musical Chairs has come down to one last chair and, if you don’t sit on it, you might just find yourself sitting on you couch all summer watching MLB.com with your brother J. D.—another former Red Sox player.