Stephen Drew free agency: Shortstop seeking opt-out clause after first year

Jared Wickerham

Scott Boras appears to have overplayed his hand on this one.

Free agent shortstop, and Scott Boras client, Stephen Drew has been languishing in joblessness for some time now, which might have been a surprise to some after he put together one of the best seasons of his career in Boston last season.

Some of the hesitation to sign him comes from the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer he declined, but as ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reports, Drew is seeking an opt-out clause after the first year of any potential contract.

The 30-year-old infielder might not be in the best position to make such demands at this point considering the fact that any team that wishes to sign him will have to surrender an early draft pick, and the slot money associated with it, in order to ink him to a new deal. That added cost would be magnified even more if the team that signed Drew had a chance at losing him on the open market after just one year.

Drew, who turns 31 in March, also has a concerning injury history that has caused him to miss 25 or more games in all but three seasons of his eight-year career.

The Mets are a club that has been linked to Drew repeatedly, but as Rubin notes, the opt-out clause is "not going to fly with the Mets." Their first rounder is protected, and they already forfeited their second-round pick by signing Curtis Granderson, but if the team signs Drew, they aren't going to have much of a budget when the 2014 draft rolls around in June.

Such a bold push for a one-year improvement could potentially make sense for a team that considered themselves to be on the cusp of a championship -- though most teams in that position don't make reckless decisions like that -- however, the Mets aren't quite there yet. They're waiting for Matt Harvey to recover from Tommy John surgery, and for their top prospects to not only reach the majors, but settle into the competition at the highest level.

If Boras doesn't walk back his demands, the Mets aren't likely to be the team that bites on Stephen Drew.

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