Stephen Drew free agency: Conflicting reports on Mets' interest

Jared Wickerham

The Mets and Stephen Drew have spoken continually this winter, unless they haven't.

Stephen Drew and the New York Mets have been connected to one another all winter. Mostly because the Mets could really use a shortstop, but also due to the fact that they won't have to surrender as much as most teams to sign the 30-year-old free agent.

In any event, the media has been reporting a mixed bag of information on the potential coupling, ranging from constant contact to none at all between Drew and the club, as Marc Carig of the Long Island Newsday reports

The Mets have "praised incumbent Ruben Tejada's offseason efforts to get into shape," but if they have indeed remained in "continuous" contact with Drew's camp, they might just be posturing in regard to Tejada in an effort to avoid tipping their hand. The club has been rumored to be interested in Drew on a one-year deal, an outcome that the shortstop would presumably like to avoid -- since he declined Boston's $14.1 million qualifying offer in November.

The market for Drew has been somewhat surprisingly quiet so far.

He was clearly the best option on the open market at his position, and he had a solid 2013, hitting .253/.333/.443 in 501 plate appearances for the Red Sox.

Concerns about his injury history and the draft compensation attached to him seem to have caused his market to stagnate.

It has gotten to the point that rumors have started to surface that teams might ask Drew to change positions. It might seem counterintuitive to ask him to switch positions, though that certainly wouldn't be the cause with the Mets. However, some teams -- like the Yankees -- could use him at another infield position in the short term, and move him back to short at a later date.

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told ESPN's Jim Bowden that he did not expect Drew back with his team next season. The market for remaining free agents is expected to pick up as Opening Day approaches.

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