Stephen Drew free agency: 'Unlikely' to sign with Mets

Rob Carr

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson sees his team's payroll rising in the future, but sees a considerable free agent signing as "unlikely" at this point.

At the team's facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said he doesn't see his club adding another major free agent, as ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reports.

Alderson spoke about the team's financial situation as well, citing his expectations that Mets' payroll will "climb back up" in the future.

Alderson expects the team to begin the year with a payroll of around $87 million to $88 million, very close to what it is at the moment, in what was basically a reiteration of his statements from a few weeks ago.

The Mets have been consistently linked to Drew because of their current group of shortstops, and due to the fact that they wouldn't be forced to surrender their first- or second-round pick to sign him. New York's first rounder is protected thanks to a finish in the bottom-third of the league last season, and they already gave up their second rounder in order to sign Curtis Granderson.

Ruben Tejada, a career .259/.323/.319 hitter, is likely to begin the season as New York's starting shortstop. At the end of January, Rubin reported that the club would also consider moving utility infielder Wilmer Flores back to shortstop this spring.

The market for Drew has died down considerably after he began the offseason as the most notable player at a premium position. A return to Red Sox has been a rumored possibility, but Boston general manager Ben Cherington has called a Drew reunion unlikely as well. The Yankees are always a possibility, but they've downplayed their interest this offseason, however, the reality of a Yankees team without Derek Jeter could cause the Yanks to pounce on Drew if his asking price bottoms out.

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