The New York Mets are currently the favorite to land Stephen Drew, but the former Boston Red Sox shortstop could end up wearing the New York Yankees jersey.
According to Andrew Mearns of SB nation, contract negotiations between Drew and the Mets were stalled, giving the Yankees a solid chance to secure the services of the former slugger of the rival.
Drew batted .253 last season with 13 homeruns and 67 RBIs last season. His numbers are impressive enough to draw strong interest from several teams, but his contract demands are reportedly shying teams away from signing him.
According to ESPN, Drew and his agent Scott Boras are seeking an opt-out clause after the first year of their demanded multi-year deal.
The Mets are willing to sign him to a lucrative multi-year deal, but the opt-out clause won't fly with the Mets' executives, knowing that Drew could eventually walk away after the next season to sign elsewhere.
"As for the opt-out, that's a deal-breaker for the Mets, apparently. That's because Drew could again enter free agency after a good season in 2014. And with a poor season he would be locked in to one or two more seasons guaranteed -- placing all of the risk on the team side," Adam Rubin of ESPN noted.
MLB analysts believe that the current negotiation standoff between the Mets and Drew could be taken advantage of by the Yankees. Sources said that the Yankees, who have been on a spending spree again this offseason, could come out of nowhere and strike a deal with the eight-year veteran.
The Yankees have committed $471 million this offseason, featuring the $155-million signing of Japanese pitching sensation Masahiro Tanaka, but they are still looking for infield help for next season.
Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira are still recovering from major injuries that could force them to miss games next season. Kelly Johnson posted just 89 OPS+ over the last two seasons, Brian Roberts has been injury prone, Eduardo Nunez was not as good as advertised, while Brendan Ryan is still not a major league hitter.
As for the Boston Red Sox, the team already announced that they are not interested in keeping Drew, with general manager Ben Cherington saying that no deal is in sight before Spring Training.
"He was a big part of our team and so out of respect to him, we've kept the dialogue going, but at this point we're really focused on the guys we have on our roster and we don't expect anything to happen between now and Spring Training," sources said.