Stephen Drew And Where An Opt-Out Isn’t Insane

Camps are opening across Florida and Arizona. Baseball is happening! Yet we’re still talking about Stephen Drew (and the other remaining qualifying offer players) because he doesn’t have a job, in no small part due to a system that absolutely does not work as currently constituted. It’s endless. I’m sick of it, and so, I imagine, are you. At least we have a new wrinkle to discuss: Scott Boras’ indication that he reportedly now wants an opt-out clause for Drew after the first year.

Predictably, this was met with a chorus of “oh yeah, well I want a pony” indignation from the internet, no doubt shocked by the impertinence of a new demand coming from an agent representing a player who, again, is still unemployed as spring training begins, and will come at the cost of a draft choice. (This also comes with the obvious caveat of believing a word that Boras says as anything other than simple leverage, especially through “a source,” but for the sake of argument let’s go with it for now.)

The negative reaction there isn’t at all unexpected, because the perception is that opt-out clauses generally favor the player, since it’s one-sided. If he’s successful, he’s free to return to the open market, while if he gets hurt or plays poorly, the team doesn’t have the same opportunity to sever ties. But then, that’s not always how it plays out in practice. As Dave Cameron concluded when looking at opt-outs in the wake of Clayton Kershaw‘s extension recently, “you want to be the team giving the player the deal with the opt-out, not the team signing the player who just opted out.”

Sometimes that’s the same team, as we’ve seen with the Yankees opening up the wallet to retain CC Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez after they exercised opt-outs, and sometimes it’s not, but the limited history we have on the topic shows that while an initial opt-out does favor the player somewhat — again, because they have more power of choice — it’s not to the overwhelming extent that many seem to think. (A great example here being that of Stephen’s brother J.D. Drew, who gave the Dodgers 6.8 WAR for $20.8m over two seasons, then opted out to give Boston 12.4 WAR for $70m over the next five.)

Really, the reaction seems to be to the term “opt-out,” rather than “player option,” which is basically what an opt-out is. The main difference is that opt-outs come earlier in a contract — you’d never hear Kershaw’s deal as being described as having “three player options,” partially because they come all-or-nothing — and that options come into play for the final year, usually. If Boras manages to get Drew a two-year deal with a third-year player option, I imagine the chorus of boos may not be so loud.

Either way, a team that may only want Drew for a short term may not see this as the complete deal-breaker that it might otherwise seem to be, especially because Drew’s deal isn’t going to be anything like the massive contracts the other opt-out players have received. This isn’t going to be like Zack Greinke potentially deciding he wants to leave three years and $71m (or not) on the table following 2015; Drew would almost certainly be holding the power over just a single remaining year, perhaps two at the most, at far more reasonable numbers. And, as we saw with Ubaldo Jimenez this year in Cleveland, the opt-out wouldn’t preclude a team from tendering Drew with another qualifying offer next winter if they wanted, though whether Drew would have learned from his experience this winter is an open question. It kills the idea of a team not likely to contend this year, like the Mets, but it shouldn’t for teams with a lot to play for in 2014.

Of course, this comes back around again to the draft pick, as any Drew conversation has to. As tough as it’s been to sell anybody on the idea that the next few years of Drew is worth a draft pick, why in the world would anyone give up a valuable pick for just a single season of him? The answer, of course, is that they wouldn’t… except possibly under very specific circumstances. For a team with a clear need in the infield, and with a favorable enough position on the win curve that the extra win or two or three that Drew could provide (depending on who he’s replacing) would be important, and with a vulnerable pick so devalued that it doesn’t hurt so much to lose it, there’s a potential for a fit.

That team, of course, is the Yankees.

Spending $503 million in one winter — that’d be importing Carlos BeltranJacoby EllsburyKelly JohnsonBrian McCannBrian RobertsMasahiro Tanaka, and Matt Thornton, along with retaining Derek JeterHiroki Kuroda, and Brendan Ryan — is impressive, but it’s even more impressive that it didn’t buy an obvious playoff roster. Yes, McCann should be a huge improvement over Chris Stewart and the rest of the catching mess, and the new outfielders, along with Brett Gardner and Alfonso Soriano, could potentially be very good, and sure, a rotation with Tanaka and Kuroda should certainly be better than one without them.

Yet the post-Alex Rodriguez infield remains “an area of concern,” to put it kindly, despite all that spending, with questions at all four spots. Paul Swydan accurately noted recently that it might end up being the worst Yankee infield in decades. In our depth chart projections, the infield (excluding catcher) ranks ahead of only the White Sox and Marlins, and even that is partially due to the fact that projecting Jose Abreu is nearly impossible at this point. The projections show the infield as being tied with the Twins and tied with the Brewers, who are coming off one of the worst first base performances in baseball history. It has them as being behind the Astros, and even that’s with the idea that Jeter can stay healthy enough to take about 400 plate appearances at shortstop. If he can’t, even Ryan’s fantastic defense isn’t going to save his atrocious bat.

Sure, if Mark Teixeira and Jeter and Roberts all stay healthy and get transported back to 2007,  this could work out okay, but it’s not a stretch to say that this infield could be the worst in the American League, or even the major leagues if everything falls apart. A team that just spent that much money to get back to the playoffs right now can’t possibly be satisfied with that kind of risk. This isn’t news, of course, since you care enough about baseball to read FanGraphs and so you certainly already know how porous the Yankee infield looks to be.

With options limited at this point, unless anyone really wants to see a Brandon Phillips trade, the Yankees may need to make what small moves they can to upgrade. Losing the 56th overall pick (which has produced exactly two usable big leaguers in the last 30 years, J.J. Hardy and Scott Linebrink), shouldn’t be an impediment, nor should Brian Cashman’s comments that the team is unlikely to go after Drew. Were Drew to opt out and then get hit with the qualifying offer next winter, that 56th pick just turned into a higher sandwich pick, leaving the team free to go after Asdrubal CabreraHanley RamirezJed Lowrie, and Hardy, all currently set to be next year’s infield free agents. If he accepts, or it’s not an opt-out at all, then the Yankees have a perfectly acceptable stopgap in what is almost certainly a Jeter-less 2015.

For Drew, the downside of the Yankees is that he’d have to go to a situation where he’s not guaranteed to be the starting shortstop — again, assuming Jeter stays healthy — and he has no experience playing second or third. Then again, even the Red Sox may not guarantee him a starting job if they really want Xander Bogaerts to play short, and if he doesn’t go to the Mets, his options are limited. He may not have a choice, even if, as Jeff Sullivan noted, changing positions isn’t as easy as just flipping a switch.

Maybe this just drives Drew back to Boston, because as the one team who doesn’t need to surrender a pick, and with Bogaerts ready, they’re in the power position here. Maybe they sign him just so the Yankees can’t. Drew’s a flawed player, especially against lefties, but the Yankees are a flawed team. They’re an especially flawed infield. They’re also one of the extremely few teams with money, need, and little reason to worry about the pick.




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Mike Petriello lives in New York and writes about the Dodgers daily at Dodgers Digest, as well as contributing to ESPN Insider. He wrote two chapters in the 2014 Hardball Times Annual as well as building The Hardball Times and TechGraphs, and was an editorial producer at Sports on Earth. Find him at @mike_petriello.


62 Responses to “Stephen Drew And Where An Opt-Out Isn’t Insane”

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  1. Aaron (UK) says:

    “Boston […] the one team who doesn’t need to surrender a pick”

    Well, yes they do; they effectively surrender the compensatory pick. It amounts to the same thing.

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    • Ian R. says:

      Yes… but if Drew sits out until after the draft, then the Red Sox aren’t getting that compensatory pick regardless. Given how badly his market has collapsed, that’s a possibility – wait until June and sign with a team that loses an infielder early on.

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      • stan says:

        That’s an empty threat, IMO. Drew would not only be forfeiting compensation for at least 1/3 of the year, he still wouldn’t be getting the contract he’s after.

        Morales is the only guy for whom that’s a real threat, and that’s only because he’s worth so much less than he’s after anyway. Seriously, is he even better than Garrett Jones at this point? He got a huge break by getting a QO but he stupidly turned it down.

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    • NS says:

      …But they keep their own pick, for a net loss of 0. Other teams have a net loss of 1. This is very obviously the point.

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      • asdf says:

        I’m not sure I buy this argument. Every pick has value independent of your other picks (especially with the added draft pool bonus). Sure, the Red Sox will still be sitting pretty with their own (protected) first rounder and a sandwich (ellsbury), but that doesn’t mean that drew’s sandwich pick is meaningless.

        It just means the red sox have an abundance of riches.

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        • NS says:

          They don’t *have* a pick from Drew. They don’t have one. It is not something they have. It cannot be lost. This couldn’t be any clearer.

          They *could*, theoretically, receive a pick from Drew if he signs somewhere else before the draft. That is not guaranteed and it certainly hasn’t happened.

          If they sign Drew, they will *not gain* a pick they *might have gained* if they didn’t sign Drew. This is categorically different from *losing* something they have.

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        • asdf says:

          So the only scenario where the Red Sox don’t have the pick is if drew doesn’t sign somewhere before the draft.

          Obviously there’s no precedent here, but I find that very unlikely.

          So, true, the red sox don’t “have” the pick, but they very likely will.

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        • Matthew Murphy says:

          The Red Sox will only NOT receive a compensation pick if Drew decides to wait until after the draft (early June) to sign. By doing this, he would be forfeiting half a year of salary. If, hypothetically, Drew is looking for 3/39, it would make sense for him to sign for 3/33 rather than wait until mid-June and lose $6.5M.

          Given that there is almost no feasible scenario where Drew doesn’t sign before the draft, the Red Sox SHOULD be acting as if that is a pick they have. So, if they re-sign Drew, they’ll be “not gaining” a pick, rather than “losing” a pick, but the net effect is the same. In fact, the compensation pick the Sox would gain is more valuable than the picks that the Mets or Yankees would lose, so the cost is even higher for them.

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        • bjsguess says:

          @ Matthew Murphy

          Why should he take less and essentially play for free for half a year at 3/$33M?

          If I were advising him, miss the 1st half. Sign for the rest of the season for $7M. Make a handshake deal for no QO after the season. Drew hits the market next off-season with no draft pick attached to him. If he plays well he should be in a better position to score a larger contract without having a draft pick tied to it.

          We’v seen several players start late and still make a positive contribution to their teams in the latter half.

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      • Aaron (UK) says:

        By re-signing Drew, Boston have a net loss of 1 (from 3 to 2*, because they’re already +1 from Ellsbury). Other teams also have a net loss of 1 (usually from 1 to 0).

        *in terms of picks within the first round and comp round A

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        • NS says:

          …No. Not at all. The non-Drew scenario means keeping what they have. Signing Drew means keeping what they have. Nothing is gained, but nothing is lost. 0 loss.

          For any other team, the non-Drew scenario means keeping what they have. Signing Drew means losing a pick. Nothing is gained (in terms of picks), and a pick is lost. Loss of 1.

          This is very clear. You don’t get to give them credit for a pick they don’t have, and then pretend it got lost if they sign Drew. That isn’t reality.

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        • vivalajeter says:

          I don’t see it that way, NS. You say “The non-Drew scenario means keeping what they have”. That’s only partially correct. The non-Drew scenario means keeping what they have, plus getting a supplemental pick. So by letting the Mets, Yankees or another team sign him, they’re +1. By signing him themselves, they’re net-zero (which is one less than being +1).

          The only way they only keep what they have is if he doesn’t sign for a few months, but I find that unlikely. Sure, I guess it should be taken into account on some level, but not more than a few grains of salt.

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        • NS says:

          “The non-Drew scenario means keeping what they have, plus getting a supplemental pick.”

          No, this is made up. It isn’t reality.

          It’s *possible* for this to happen, and maybe even likely. But it isn’t necessarily the case at all.

          The default scenario – the current reality – is you do not have Drew and you do not have a draft pick for him. A possible non-signing scenario is that he signs elsewhere before the draft and you are awarded one. A possible scenario is he signs after the draft and you are not. Declining to sign Drew does not guarantee you a draft pick.

          More importantly – the author’s original point from which this was needlessly nitpicked – if it does net them a draft pick, the Red Sox are *gaining* something. The starting position is everything they have, plus that pick. So the choice is whether or not to gain something. For all other teams, signing Drew means *losing* something they have. The choice is whether or not to lose something.

          This is a meaningful difference. One man enters a contest but does not win the $1M prize. Another man has $1M in cash stolen from him. Equating these two things is nonsense.

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        • Aaron (UK) says:

          But if it’s a contest in which he has a 95% chance of winning the $1m prize, and the man already has many millions of cash, so there’s no issue in terms of the utility of the money…

          I’d say equating them is very reasonable.

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      • Aaron (UK) says:

        To clarify, see the tentative draft order here:

        http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/draft/y2014/order.jsp

        Drew currently represents a different draft pick for every team that might sign him – worst off are the Blue Jays @ 11, and best off are the Mets @ 85 (which is partly why they’ve been so heavily linked with him). In between are the Red Sox themselves, at a tentative 33.

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        • afnj says:

          Jays pick at 11th is protected

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        • Aaron (UK) says:

          So it is – in which case the team with the most to lose from signing Drew (or any other FA) is Milwaukee @ 12. It does seems wrong that basically just-under-.500 clubs are the most heavily penalised for going after free agents.

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      • ryan says:

        this is wrong. lets put it like this. lets say you are a store, and you are worth $100 dollars (your original pick). there is a customer that is willing to give you another $100, but he just walked into another store.

        you are still losing $100. thats how business works.

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    • asdf says:

      and a much higher pick than the yankees, at that. those sandwich picks produced a lot of the last red sox core.

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  2. Jake says:

    Good read. I’m borderline ashamed I find this stuff fascinating.

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  3. Garrett says:

    “Were Drew to opt out and then get hit with the qualifying offer next winter, that 56th pick just turned into a higher sandwich pick”

    Two questions: Can you tender a qualifying offer to a player who opts out of a player option (I thought no), and isn’t it a relative certainty that Drew’s deal will include a handshake agreement that whoever signs him next (if it is a one-year deal to establish his value again in the 2015 FA market) will not offer him a qualifying offer and put him through this circus again next year?

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  4. Andrew Faris says:

    How come I haven’t heard any Drew-to-the-Dodgers talk? He’d also need to switch positions to play for the Blue, but everything else lines up: the Dodgers have money and lack infield depth, after all. Right now they’re looking at Uribe, Hanley, and Alex Guerrero at at 3rd, Short, and 2nd, respectively. At the very least, Drew could platoon with Uribe at 3rd (or, wonder of wonders, maybe they could even convince Hanley to slide over to 3rd part time).

    Not only does the Dodgers’ infield have a ton of uncertainty that would make the depth help, but Hanley is not exactly a shining beacon of reliable health. Drew would be the ideal insurance policy.

    I know Kasten likes to build within and probably doesn’t want to give up the pick, but if you’re looking for a team on the right spot on the win curve, the Dodgers are as good of a candidate as any other.

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    • Mike Petriello says:

      Andrew — not sure I agree. Guerrero isn’t without questions, but the Dodgers didn’t pay him that much to immediately block him. And unlike the Yankees or Mets or Sox, they would have to give up a first round pick. I just can’t see it.

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      • Andrew Faris says:

        I totally agree on Guerrero, but look across the diamond: how much do we really trust Juan Uribe to turn in a full, solid season at 3rd? I actually like Uribe (and I always have, including the first 2 years of his last deal). But Drew would give the ultimate flexibility: if Hanley gets hurt (and we know how past injuries predict future ones), Uribe gets crappy, or Guerrero never gets good in the first place, Drew slots in.

        What’s more, Drew is basically a glorified platoon guy. His splits are pretty extreme, but look at him against righties last year: he was 3rd best offensive shortstop in baseball (behind Hanley and Tulo).

        Between injuries and platoons, Drew would be a fantastic addition. My guess is we’d hear about this if it weren’t for the pick. I think you’re right: that’s the main issue. But for where the Dodgers are on the win curve now, it seems worth it to me.

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  5. Mr Punch says:

    The other issue in the Drew situation is the “pillow contract”; Drew hoped to re-establish his value on a one-year deal (not that he could have got a longer one). It worked fine for Beltre because he was really good, fine for Napoli too, but it was (apparently) disastrous for Drew. Haven’t there been cases where players’ contracts did not allow qualifying offers? Is this (still) possible?

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    • Franco says:

      I know Carlos Beltran had a no QO in his Mets contract. I’m not sure if that was removed after the last CBA though since I haven’t heard of it happening since.

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    • Ian R. says:

      The new CBA explicitly says that teams can’t promise not to extend the QO. That’s a change from the old system, where it was possible for teams to agree to not offer arbitration to potential Type A free agents.

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  6. Preston says:

    The Yankees would need a lot of bad luck to get less production out of their infield than 2013. Even with Cano’s 6 WAR the infield posted 5.5 WAR. They don’t need Jeter and Teixeira to be all-stars, or Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson don’t have to time warp to 2009 and 2010 in order for them to get to 6 WAR. I think the difference between this year and 2013 is the Yankees have acquired better depth in Dean Anna, Scott Sizemore, Brendan Ryan, Russ Canzler to go along with Eduardo Nunez and Corban Joseph.

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    • Jim Price says:

      I just don’t realistically see 6 WAR from the collection of old guys and scraps that they are bringing to camp. It looks more like the very definition of “replacement level.”

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    • Vince says:

      The guys you list don’t support your position. Say we give Tex and Jeter a wildly optimistic (largely because of playing time) 1 WAR each. Johnson maybe another 1, and then everyone else you mentioned is a replacement-level player. Sizemore, Roberts, Anna, Ryan, Canzler, Nunez and Joseph are pretty good names to use when somebody says “what the heck IS a replacement player, anyway?” DFA’s, non-tenders, and NRI dreck.

      I think it will be an extremely lucky outcome if they match last year’s 5.5.

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      • DNA+ says:

        1 WAR apiece for Jeter and Tex basically means neither of them play at all. You really think that is a wildly optimistic scenario? Optimistic is they both play a full season (in which case they will surely total 5 WAR between them).

        There is almost no chance the Yankees infield is worse this year than last year.

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        • Eric Feczko says:

          Currently, Steamer projects the Yankees infield to have a total of ~6 WAR next year. This assumes about 400 at bats for Jeter and a full season for Texeira.

          Even the rosiest projections have Tex and Jeter at a combined 4.5 WAR. Most put it between 3.5-4 WAR, because such a projection assumes that Tex has not suffered any decline since 2011 (no projection I’ve seen puts Jeter beyond 1.3 WAR next year). Projecting 5 WAR between them is the definition of wildly optimistic.

          There is a very good chance that the Yankees infield puts up a similar WAR to last year, and there is a decent chance that they are worse than last year. IF Jeter, Texeira and Roberts all miraculously rebound, then the Yankees have a shot at being better than last year, and that is a big IF.

          However, if they sign Drew. Then they can shift Jeter to third. His WAR may go up a bit; the improved defense may offset the positional adjustment, as his biggest defensive weakness is his range. You can eliminate Brendan Ryan’s at-bats, and improve your infield WAR by at least 1 possibly 2.

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  7. HawaiiFO says:

    How about he signs a one year deal for a Japanese team with an opt out after the draft?
    Its a bit of a risk, but he gets paid now, plays now, and will be in the unique situation of being a F.A. in the middle of the year.

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    • DNA+ says:

      What would be in that for the Japanese team?

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      • HawaiiFO says:

        Star/novelty power? Has any all-star calaber player ( debatable but bare with me) ever played in Japan while they are still ( relatively ) at their prime? Perhaps the MLB team would have to post $1 million to the Japenese team for the negotiating rights. For the sake of arguement lets say he finds a team in Japan that will pay him $9 million for the season, or $3 million for two months before an opt out, anything to stop it from happening in MLB F.A. Rules?

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    • Eric Feczko says:

      Interesting idea, but one that would be terrible for Drew.

      Essentially, his market consists of the Yankees and the Mets. Neither team is expected to be a solid contender next year, so it wouldn’t make sense for either team to sign them in the middle of the year, especially when the upcoming crop of free agents are more valuable than Drew.

      If the Yankees do become a contender, they will have to do it with surprising play from their infield, which again, would make Drew an unlikely mid-season pickup.

      Pretty much the only way for this to work for Drew, is if Xander Bogaerts completely collapses in his first season (e.g. career ending injury, or complete loss of sbility). The only other way is if the Yankees are contending, and Jeter gets injured at the same time as Drew becomes available.

      Since both scenarios are extremely unlikely, all Drew would do is sacrifice a year in the MLB in order to become a less valuable free agent next year.

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  8. LaLoosh says:

    I think you need more to back up the claim that the system does not work bc it’s endless and you’re sick of it. Now, I know you have other legit reasons, but I think it’s very debatable whether the system works or not. The players sitting out there unsigned who passed up a g’teed $14M for 2014 did so at their own peril whether that means they were given bad advice or just overvalued their own market, we are still talking about fixing something that is operating exactly how it was intended to. I’m finding it very difficult to drum up sympathy for players who turned down a $14M annual salary.

    When you begin to have players accept the QO, teams will begin to think twice about extending those offers. It’s just year 2 of the new system and it takes some time for parties on both sides to adjust and react to it. I have a feeling that we’ll see an adjustment to where several players may accept QOs a year from now.

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    • Atreyu Jones says:

      Yeah, I don’t know what is intrinsically bad about a player not being signed into February and March – especially because that happens to players even without the QO.

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      • dross says:

        This comment and the article appear to assume that Drew has basically gotten no other offers beyond QO. Do we really have any idea what they have turned down?

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        • Atreyu Jones says:

          I think he has gotten some offers.

          I also think teams haven’t wasted their time offering 1/$10m etc because presumably he wants to beat the QO.

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  9. james wilson says:

    Alderson is pretty much telling Boras that he will sign Drew to a Salty contract, which he can flip in time. Forget 3 and 39. Cherington has recently said that he has left open the dialogue (lie) out of respect for Drew’s contribution (true). Cherington has decided not to leave Bogaerts and Middlebrooks looking over their shoulders. The Salty non-tender should make the Drew status clear. When Ben has made up his mind it’s over, it’s over.

    Drew blew it. Cherinton calculated that Drew and Boras would not take the 14 mil or he never would have offered it. Still, Cherington won a pot with nothing in it.

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    • Atreyu Jones says:

      I think Cherington would have been OK with Drew accepting, even if he would have preferred that he didn’t. I’d guess 1/$14m is close to the market value of Drew. The problem for Drew’s camp is that his value is probably not $14m plus the loss of a draft pick. Depending on how teams value the pick, his market value would have to be between $18-30m for a 1-year deal. He was a free agent only a year ago, it seems wildly optimistic for them to think that his market value is double or more the 1/$9m he got then.

      Although I think we should wait until he actually signs a contract worse than the QO before declaring their move a mistake.

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      • Eric Feczko says:

        At this point, the Mets would be giving up a third round pick.

        I’m not sure that pick is worth more than 1 million, which makes its effect on the mets negligible.

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    • LaLoosh says:

      I think this nails it from Boston’s perspective. They signed him a year ago to a 1 yr deal bc they wanted to score a pick for him now. They are merely following thru with that plan now. I no longer see a reunion with Drew and the Sox.

      The team that should be in this is the Marlins. Their payroll is so low it’s embarrassing. I realize there is value in their 2nd rd pick which would be in the 42 to 45 range I think. But that team is so low on veteran presence and they could be pretty relevant in a year or two. What’s the harm in going to 4/40M for Drew if you’re the Fish?

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      • Noah Baron says:

        The harm is spending $40 million on a player that doesn’t help whatsoever with competing. Contrary to the somewhat popular opinion, the Marlins are far away from contention, much further away than a team like the Mets. It would just be a waste of money and a waste of a draft pick that could accelerate the rebuilding process.

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    • Eric Feczko says:

      This assumes that Derek Jeter/Brian Roberts can stay healthy past the draft. Injuries can prompt a team to sign a healthy, above-replacement shortstop.

      As long a Drew signs before the draft, Cherington wins a supplemental pick.

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  10. Kenz says:

    The news of Derek Jeter’s retirement after the 2014 season clarifies the Drew situation a lot. The reason Boras is asking for an opt-out clause after one year is that he knows the Yankees would be set to spend huge $$$ on a free agent shortstop in 2015 and beyond, and wants to be able to sell them Drew. Couple that with the fact that the Yankees’ system is fairly below-average; it’s hard to imagine them acquiring a shortstop through trade unless they take on Elvis Andrus’ full salary obligations.

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  11. Professor Ross Eforp says:

    Boston’s loss is less than that of another signing team (comp pick vs. actual first rounder), though it is undetermined how much less (a lot less if the 11th pick is at stake and considerably less if it is a team that is forfeiting the 29th or higher pick).

    Nonetheless, I don’t see a reasonable scenario where they aren’t incurring an opportunity cost. I cannot possibly see him sitting out a year.

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  12. That Guy says:

    What exactly is the standard for offering the QO? I understand that a player that is traded midseason can’t be offered, but does that player need to be on a contract the entire season? In other words, if the Yankees (or Dodgers) sign him after the draft, can they actually offer the QO?

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  13. Jolly Good Show says:

    I don’t know why the Rockies haven’t signed him. Their first draft pick is protected, and they can play him at 2B, giving them a huge improvement over their current players projected to play there, and at SS when Tulo inevitably gets injured.

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  14. Noah Baron says:

    If the Mets signed Drew with the option, and Drew opts out after one year, don’t the Mets get a compensatory pick in next years draft? Not to mention, this pick would be in between the first and second rounds, while the pick they lose this year would be a third rounder. Seems like including an opt-out wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for the Mets, even though they probably aren’t contenders in 2014 anyway. At the very least, Drew should be worth his contract for 2014 in terms of wins (and ticket sales), and if he opts out they could simply sign one of the plethora of shortstops available in 2015 and collect the compensatory draft pick.

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