Hal Steinbrenner's "serious goal" is to have the Yankees' payroll fall below the $189 million salary threshold. With that in mind, here at ESPN New York, we are going to examine potential free-agent and trade candidates in a feature we call "Spend Hal's Money."
Candidate: Stephen Drew
2013: .253, 13 HRs, 67 RBIs, .777 OPS
SHOULD THE YANKEES SPEND HAL'S MONEY?: Last winter, Stephen Drew reportedly accepted less money to join Boston instead of becoming a Yankee. Drew would have had to move to third in place of a then-injured Alex Rodriguez. He also would have provided insurance for Derek Jeter.
Instead, Drew chose the Red Sox and their $9.5 million offer because he wanted to be a shortstop. So now, even if the Yankees went after him hard, why should anyone think Drew would want any part of the Bronx?
The Yankees, an official with knowledge of their plans said, are going to target the left side of the infield, realizing they still have great uncertainty in that area. But Drew would need to have a high tolerance for drama if he was to sign with the Yankees.
Drew would have to deal with the Jeter and A-Rod situations. Jeter plans on coming back and playing a lot of shortstop. If he can, Drew would not be able to play the position he covets. If Jeter is unable to go out there, Drew would have to deal with being the guy who replaced Jeter. Why would he want to do that, if he has options?
What could really make Drew a nonstarter for the Yankees is if the Red Sox were to give Drew a qualifying offer. He would then cost them a first-round pick, which would add to his price tag.
With a lagging farm system, the Yankees can't afford to lose a high draft choice for what is essentially a luxury item.
VERDICT: Pass. Drew is a good player, but he is a Plan-B guy, in my opinion. If the Yankees strike out on Robinson Cano and have a lot of money to spread out, maybe he comes into the picture as the team tries to put together a more complete roster. Until then, I don't see it.