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Report: Stephen Drew a 'possibility' more than a 'probability' for Mets

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

It's looking less and less likely the Mets will sign Stephen Drew.
It's looking less and less likely the Mets will sign Stephen Drew. (USATSI)

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The Mets have spent some money to improve their outfield (Curtis Granderson and Chris Young) and starting rotation (Bartolo Colon) this winter, but it doesn't appear they will do the same at the shortstop position. Adam Rubin of ESPN New York says Stephen Drew is viewed as more of a "possibility" for the team rather than a "probability."

According to Ruben, Mets' team officials are divided about Drew's value. They would likely consider a one or two-year deal, but nothing more. The feeling is that if Drew is open to taking a short-term deal, he would return to the Red Sox rather than join a new team. Boston is said to have interest in re-signing him but don't appear to be in a rush to get it done.

Drew, 30, hit .253/.333/.433 (111 OPS+) with 13 home runs in 124 games for the Red Sox last season, but he did most of his damage at Fenway Park (.283/.367/.491) rather than on the road (.222/.295/.392). The left-handed hitter also struggled against lefties (.196/.246/.340) while destroying righties (.284/.377/.498). Drew's defense at short is solid but there are obvious holes to his game.

If the Mets do not add a shortstop, they'll again head into the season with Ruben Tejada at the position. The 24-year-old showed promise from 2011-12 (3.9 WAR in 210 games) but really struggled in 2013 (-0.9 WAR in 57 games) and was sent to the minors. Mets' officials were openly down on Tejada earlier this offseason but have amusingly changed their tone in recent weeks.

Drew rejected a qualifying offer, so teams will have to forfeit a draft pick to sign him. The Mets have a protected first round pick and surrendered their second rounder for Granderson, so Drew would only cost them a third rounder. There has been speculation Drew is waiting to see if the Yankees will make an offer should Alex Rodriguez be suspended, if for no other reason than to create some negotiating leverage against Boston.

Next winter's crop of free agent shortstops is surprisingly strong, with J.J.Hardy, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jed Lowrie and Hanley Ramirez among those slated to hit the open market. Contract extensions are always possible, but it's likely one or two of those guys will be available next offseason should the Mets pass on Drew.

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