2014 Statistics: .150/.219/.271, 3 HR, 32 wRC+, -1.3 fWAR
2015 Contract Status: Free Agent
This time last year, Stephen Drew was coming off of a solid .253/.333/443 season with the Red Sox, which coupled with his strong defense at shortstop, made him roughly a 3 win player. All in all, Drew looked like an above-average shortstop who was about to sign a semi-lucrative, multi-year contract. That never came to be, however, as the market for Drew’s services completely dried up after the Red Sox extended him a qualifying offer, which he declined. Any team wishing to sign Drew would have needed to cough up their top unprotected draft pick to the Red Sox, which was enough to scare many teams away. Drew received some interest from a few teams — including the Yankees — last winter, but he ultimately opted to sit out the start of the year, hoping that a market would eventually develop for his services.
After originally deciding to role with rookie Xander Boegaerts as their shortstop, the Red Sox had a change of heart in late May, and resigned Drew to infuse some life into their struggling lineup. Drew didn’t hit a lick in Boston, managing to hit just .176/.255/.328 in 39 games, and was dealt to the Yankees for the equally-useless Kelly Johnson at the July 31st deadline. Drew immediately replaced Brian Roberts at second base, and at the time, it seemed like he had a shot at being the future at shortstop for the Yankees. Although he’d struggled at the plate in 2013, he had a decent offensive track record and was still a solid defender at short.
Unfortunately, Drew never did turn things around, and actually hit even worse upon arriving in New York. He followed up his 57 wRC+ in Boston with a 32 clip in 46 games with the Bombers, and ended the year with a disgraceful -1.1 fWAR. Bad luck certainly played a role, as Drew’s .175 BABIP with the Yankees was markedly lower than he (or nearly anyone else, really) has posted in the past.
But unlucky or not, Drew almost certainly played himself out of a starting gig in 2015. He’ll latch on somewhere, but probably won’t be returning to the Yankees, who already have Brendan Ryan and Jose Pirela under contract as viable utility infielders. A rebound’s certainly not out of the question for Drew, but it’s also easy to envision his dismal 2014 campaign being the beginning of the end.
This article originally appeared on Pinstripe Alley.