Stephen Drew free agency: Shortstop still struggling to find new contract

Elsa

Drew has not received many solid offers this offseason and has turned down those he has gotten. With Nelson Cruz signing, he may lower his demands.

The New York Mets at some point made an offer to Stephen Drew in the $9.5 million range for one year, but the free agent shortstop turned it down, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Now, Drew is training by himself and still searching for a new contract as spring training is underway.

The proposed offer from the Mets would have been basically the same deal he signed last year with the Boston Red Sox. Unlike last year, however, any team signing him now would also be required to forfeit a draft pick after he turned down a qualifying offer from Boston.

In retrospect, taking the qualifying offer may have been the smartest play for Drew. That would have guaranteed him $14.1 million for 2014 with Boston while allowing him to test the free agent market again next year. Because Drew turned down the offer, it's likely he has been looking for a better contract, or at least one that provides multiple years.

Unfortunately for Drew, interest in him has been light despite his performance as one of the better shortstops in the game. The Red Sox have not made him a solid offer since November and have top prospect Xander Bogaerts ready to take over short, the Mets apparently don't want to spend enough on him and the New York Yankees apparently don't see a need for him at his current cost.

The Toronto Blue Jays have checked in on Drew and could see him as a fit at second base. Jose Reyes is entrenched at shortstop for the team, but right now the team is lacking a viable starting second baseman. Drew has been more open to changing positions as the offseason progresses and could make the change. The Pittsburgh Pirates have also had some internal discussions about him, but need to figure out their first base situation before doing anything else.

In the end, Drew may have to settle for taking a similar deal to the one the Mets offered. Nelson Cruz took a one-year deal for just $8 million with the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday, and he had originally been looking for more money than Drew. Cruz's deal could put to rest any notions Drew has about receiving a multi-year deal. If Drew and agent Scott Boras drop their demands, he could sign very quickly.

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