Although springtraining has been going on for over a month, Ruben Tejada played a solid offensive and defensive game for the first time, finally. Maybe a new season had something to do with it. Not baseball season, but today is the first day of Spring. With it usually brings hope, sounds of lawn mowers and birth. Apparently, today it led to the creation of Tejada bearing semblance of a professional ball player. In todays walk-off 7-6 victory over the Atlanta Braves, Rubin Tejada went 3 for 3 at the plate with a double, rbi and wait for it…..flawless defense. The latter being of utmost importance, if he is to stick around in the starting lineup. Playing amidst rumors of the Mets seeking trades with Arizona and Seattle to bring in a young shortstop, Tejada’s defense has been horrible( 4 errors) and equally pathetic his batting( 3 hits) entering today’s game.
I hope the Mets continue considering alternatives to Tejada. But, the Mets do not seem willing to pay Stephen Drew and do not seem open to trading away any of their minor league pitching to acquire Gregorius, Owings or Franklin. So, for one day it isn’t as urgent for Sandy Alderson to find a solution, which may help with negotiating a trade. Arizona is more desperate at this time, since they have lost their ace, Patrick Corbin. They are “all in” for 2014 and could use a dependable veteran arm that eats innings. The Mets have one in Dillon Gee, with being affordable, productive and coming off 199+ innings pitched in 2013. But, with Jon Niese starting the season on the DL to get his pitch count and shoulder strength to where it belongs, the Mets quite possibly may be leaning on Gee for opening day and won’t trade him unless this season spirals out of control, or possibly in 2015.
As per Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News, Jose Reyes gave Tejada a pep talk yesterday and told him to keep working hard despite trade rumors.Hopefully, Tejada can build off this performance and give the team one less thing to deal with short term.
So, after talk about the New York Mets upgrading at shortstop this off-season, the possibility of Stephen Drew being that upgrade appears less likely, as word is he will re-sign with the Boston Red Sox.
As reported by John Heyman, the Twins, Bluejays, Athletics are also considering Drew. But, the RedSox see their future third baseman as Xander Bogaerts and are willing to sign Drew to a multi year deal to play shortstop.
So my month long optimism seems to be for naught. And going into the 2014 season with Tejada as the shortstop on a team that struggles to score, doesn’t inspire confidence in Mets’ fans either.
Updated January 10, 2014…Still no word on the Drew front. The Mets have said publicly that they are prepared to go into the season with Ruben Tejada as their shortstop, but as time progresses the idea of bringing in Stephen Drew becomes more of a possibility. The market is small and therefore his demands must shrink as well. The Mets may just be able to get him for 1 year at 10 million with an option, as they can gaurantee him playing time as the starting shortstop, which he wouldn’t be if he resigned in Boston.
In another 28 hours 2014 will be upon us. At the moment, the New York Mets are still in contact with Scott Boras about free agent shortstop Stephen Drew. Word is the Mets approach is similar to that of last years toward Michael Bourne who eventually signed with the Cleveland Indians. Either New York is being smart and wearing their poker face as evidenced in their new stance on Ruben Tejada. J.P. Ricciardi and the Mets brass appear satisfied
in staying pat going into the new season with Tejada as their opening day shortstop. I think the Mets should seriously, look to pounce on signing Drew and have Tejada as a backup. For one, he gives the Mets a little more pop in the lineup and secondly any commitment to him will be short term. Granted he has been injured often the past 2-1/2 seasons, but when healthy is a substantial upgrade in the lineup over Tejada and would do well at a home field such as Citi.
If Boston only offers one year, the Mets wont be bogged down and strapped with a long term contract if they offer 2. If I thought they were looking for an upgrade at SS via a trade that would be fine. Any of the young prospect shortstops in Arizona will cost the Mets young arms and they have only had interest in getting a young pitcher back for Ike Davis and rumors have cooled on Daniel Murphy being offered. I think depending on the lineup, sliding Drew ahead of D’arnaud either 6th or 7th gives the Mets another dimension and if they want to be taken seriously in their division, can not go into the season without the upgrade.