Rumors: Yankees still not interested in Stephen Drew or Kendrys Morales

stephen-drewMark Teixeira has missed all but four games so far this season, Brian Roberts is day-to-day with a sore back, Francisco Cervelli is on the 60-day disabled list, Brendan Ryan hasn’t played at all since early in Spring Training, and even Derek Jeter has missed three of the last four games.

None of that is expected to force the Yankees to upgrade their infield.

With infielder Stephen Drew and first baseman Kendrys Morales still free agents, the Yankees could easily upgrade too, but a source told Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com that there is “no way” that the Yankees will sign either player.

“Nobody’s signing Drew or Morales, not at the money they’re asking,” the source told Matthews.

The Yankees spent nearly $500 million to improve the team over the offseason and failed to reach their goal of getting payroll below $189 million as a result. Despite that, they still went cheap when it came to putting together the infield, an infield that had giant red flags that have already come back to bite them in the ass.

Morales has hit .275/.329/.457 over the last two seasons and could help keep Teixeira healthy. Teixeira is expected back as soon as Sunday, but has already been in steep decline and admitted that his seriously injured wrist will never be the same.

Drew would perhaps be a bigger help as he could fill in for Jeter, Roberts (who nobody expects to play even 100 games this year) and Kelly Johnson at third occasionally. Drew hit .256/.332/.422 since 2010 and plays solid defense.

Part of the issue is that the Yankees would need to give up a draft pick for signing either player. Unlike other teams, it wouldn’t cost the Yankees a first round pick though because they have already given up picks for Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran. Which means that the Yankees would only have to give up a fourth or fifth round pick for either or both players. At this point it is a small cost especially considering they are rumored to be set to break the bank to sign international free agents.

Then there is also the fact that the Yankees, despite going over $189 million in payroll, have still been extremely cheap. They spent a lot of money during the offseason, but they had a lot of money coming off the books. This year’s opening day payroll of $197 million is the lowest since 2007. They made a minimal effort to keep Robinson Cano and never made a significant attempt to sign real infielders and instead decided to go after journeymen like Dean Anna and the oft-injured Roberts instead.

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15 Responses to Rumors: Yankees still not interested in Stephen Drew or Kendrys Morales

  1. Tanned Tom says:

    Offering Cano $25 per year is hardly a minimal effort. It was the highest AAV, and the second highest total amount. As for Morales and Drew, pass. Morales is a DH with a league average OBP, this kind of player is just not valuable. He would be a one year rental at best. Move Beltran to 1B, and live with him learning the position. Drew is a somewhat better hitter relative to his position, but is not as good as Ramirez or Hardy, the top SS free agents for next year. Cobble together the infield and see if Solarte or Anna are major leaguers, and if Ryan can get healthy. Do not throw away even 5th round draft picks on average players over 30 looking for multi year deals.

    • Use semantics all you want, but nothing is going to change the fact that the Mariners offered him $70 million more than the Yankees did and that the Yankees never seriously entered negotiations with him at any point during the offseason or last season.

      • Tanned Tom says:

        Absolutely, he took the larger guarantee the Mariners offered. But I don't think it's semantics to say the Yanks offered a higher AAV, because they did. The player chose the larger total dollar amount, totally a reasonable option. Perhaps his lack of hustle and his clear desire to gouge the club ($300 mm anyone?) colored the negotiations, and kept them from becoming serious. The club spent that money far more wisely, in my opinion, by signing Ellsbury and McCann. Pete Rose had the best comment on that signing, about how Cano's agent just got him more time off, it being called October.

        • Peter Russo says:

          Canoe was playing one v the other he felt that he could receive more from the Yankees. To his surprise, the Yankees made a great offer and he wanted 10 years. Canoe receive that from Seattle. When the Yankees did not budge, Canoe took the offer and went to Seattle. he tried to sour grape the Yankees organization but, that was not working. Well he is with a team that has young talent but, does not like to spend money. He is the Seattle star without supportive talent around him.

      • Celerino Sanchez says:

        7 years for $175 million is a serious offer. To argue that the Yankees went cheap in the offseason is utterly ridiculous.

    • Peter Russo says:

      The Yankees do not need Stephen Drew, His agent has overhyped him so they could ask for 3 years. drew took the risk and Boras has to eat cake. This is the same agent who manipulated the draft in order to avoid brother JD signing with the Philadelphia Phillies. He also did the same thing for Stephen manipulated the draft to steer him away fro a team that could not sign him. Now the agent is stating that baseball ownership is conspiring to not sign his player. Boras was one who told Drew not to accept the qualifying offer. The player followed the agents advice and these are the consequences of his actions.

  2. Celerino Sanchez says:

    When you listed the journeymen they went after, you left out the one who is hitting .350. Drew is a lifetime .260 hitter who hit .230 a couple of years ago. Pass.

    • Sample sizes are important when evaluating players using statistics. In this case, Solarte's sample size is 46 at bats which makes his .348 average irrelevant. Come back after he's had 300 at bats or so and see what he's hitting.

      As for Drew, there are better ways to evaluate a player besides batting average. Referring to one time a few years ago when he hit .230 without mentioning any other statistic doesn't make a case for or against him. You might as well cite his shoe size.

      • Bill says:

        There is no way the yankees can win a world championship with this infield. A one year deal to either Drew or the first base man makes sense. After spending 500 hundred million a few more dollars will ensure they make the playoffs.

      • Celerino Sanchez says:

        You reject Tanned Tom's sabermetrics but you want to use some unnamed alternate measure for Drew? If you want to ignore his .230 year as an outlier, fine. He's a 31 lifetime .258 hitter with a little pop and little speed. He wants a multi year deal for double the market value of someone with his skill set. What alternate measure makes you think that he's worth a mulit-year deal for double the market value?

        • Celerino Sanchez says:

          Sorry, that should read "31 year old .258 hitter".

        • Nobody has cited any sabermetrics in these comments. Not me, nor Tanned Tom. I should point out that evaluating a hitter based solely on batting average is a poor way to do it.

          A better way, and still quick way to do it, would be to discuss his triple slash line — .275/.329/.457 (over the last two seasons, I do this to get a better sample size). These are his average, his on base percentage, and slugging percentage. This is not what you would call sabermetrics. These are traditional stats that have been around baseball for over 100 years. It shows a players hitting ability, in this case .275 is decent but not great, his ability to get on base, .329 is average or slightly above these days, and his power, .457 shows that he has plus power.

          Again, none of that is sabermetrics.

          Also, I never advocated, and never will advocate for, signing any player for double the market value and at this point I think the idea behind signing one or either of these guys would be to do it on a one-year-deal as they are likely getting desperate while sitting out.

          • Celerino Sanchez says:

            You brought up sabermetrics in the first place. Quoting your response to Tom "Use sabermetrics all you want". I was referring to that line. If you don't think your advocating signing guys at double the market price, read your post again. Or perhaps the asking price has come way down. Congratulations on your clever use of statistics. The slash line you quoted is for Kendrys Morales who I did not mention and who the Yanks have no room for. Tex is back next week and Soriano is the dh. Drew's slash line for the last three years 245/322/403 and he was hurt for much of 2011 and 2012. While I wouldn't mind having Drew over Dean Anna, I certainly can't blame the Yankees for rejecting his demands.

          • Sabermetrics and semantics are two different words.

  3. Michael R says:

    I would hold the fort with what I have and pursue a deal if injuries or ineffectiveness rears its ugly head. It's early, but so far, so good.