The New York Yankees remain uninterested in free agent shortstop Stephen Drew, according to Andrew Marchand of ESPN. Marchand notes that it "didn't sound as if they were going to change their minds, either."
Drew, who turns 31 in March, has had difficulty finding a team this winter. He rejected a qualifying offer from the Red Sox at the beginning of the offseason, so whichever team signs him will forfeit a draft pick. However, the Yankees have surrendered their top few picks already by signing free agents Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran, so inking Drew would cost them a lower pick than it would cost most other teams.
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Derek Jeter and Brendan Ryan are expected to man shortstop in the Bronx this year, despite questions about the former's health and the latter's bat. Although there could be creative ways in which to fit Drew into the lineup until his natural position is available, a match seems unlikely.
Further complicating matters for Drew is the presence of Cuban free agent Aledmys Diaz. The 23-year-old is now eligible to sign with a major league team, and he represents a younger and potentially cheaper option for teams in need of a shortstop. Furthermore, he won't cost his future team a draft pick and his salary won't count against the club's international pool budget. The Yankees were in attendance for Diaz's recent public workout, and could possibly have an eye on him as a long-term replacement for Jeter. Diaz is expected to need some time in the minors after he signs, which would make him a perfect fit for a Yankees team that shouldn't need a new everyday option until 2015.
One way or the other, New York needs to figure out a long-term plan for shortstop. In the absence of Jeter last year, a host of in-house replacements struggled to a 598 OPS.
For Drew, though, the door is not closed in Boston. The Red Sox are still open to bringing him back, but likely only on a one-year deal, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Boston currently expects top prospect Xander Bogaerts to man shortstop in 2014, but Speier notes that the team would be open to keeping Drew in the mix to maximize its infield depth while Bogaerts adjusts to playing every day in the majors. Since the Red Sox are the team that issued Drew his qualifying offer this winter, they would not lose a pick by signing him. However, players of his quality usually command multi-year deals, making a reunion in Boston unlikely.
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