The New York Yankees have tough situations on their hands with some of their most high-profile players. C.C. Sabathia is dealing with a knee injury and has looked more like a back-of-the-rotation pitcher when he has been on the mound. Alex Rodriguez, while not an immediate problem, is still looming. And then there is Derek Jeter, who is enjoying his farewell tour but is hitting only marginally well (.251/.331/.308) and is almost disastrously bad on defense.
When it comes to that last problem, the Yankees might be open to taking another look at signing free agent Stephen Drew, but only after the MLB Amateur Draft passes in June so that it does not cost them a draft pick. As reported by Nick Cafardo this past weekend:
One major league source indicated the Yankees may change their thinking on whether to sign Stephen Drew (owner Hal Steinbrenner had said the Yankees didn’t need Drew) if they find Jeter can’t endure a full season at shortstop. The Yankees, according to the source, don’t want the Red Sox to get a draft pick, so they’d wait at least through the June draft so there would be no compensation.”
If Jeter has shown anything in the twilight of his career it’s that he can still be productive on offense. His statistics at the plate this year should improve. On defense, though, he has already cost the Yankees -3 DRS (defensive runs saved, according to FanGraphs). Might he benefit offensively from less time in the field and more days as designated hitter? How much better would the Yankees be with a better defender at shortstop?
Those are the questions New York’s front office will have to weigh as they look at whether or not to pursue Drew.