Last night, it came across the wire that the Yankees are among the teams interested in shortstop Stephen Drew. Drew is coming off a pretty ‘meh’ season, having hit .233/.309/.348 with a .291 wOBA and a 79 wRC+ in both Arizona and Oakland. As the MLBTR post says, Drew’s been battling a pretty bad ankle injury. Regardless, this is an opportunity the Yankees should jump on.
As with any player coming off of an injury or coming into a potential bench role, the team should aim to limit his exposure. With Derek Jeter being Derek Jeter, Drew will obviously be a back up shortstop. As a left-handed bat, he would probably play just against RHP. Despite general suckitude last year, Drew did put up a 92 wRC+ against RHP, including a solid 12.6% walk rate. For his career, Drew owns a 101 wRC+ against righty pitching. Drew’s status as a lefty batter obviously helps him get the platoon advantage, but having him would also allow the Yankees to rest Derek Jeter a little more aggressively. Going into the year with Eduardo Nunez, Jayson Nix, or some similar player as the backup SS means the Yankees can only rest Jeter (comfortably) against lefty pitchers. The hypothetical acquisition of Drew could permit Joe Girardi to give Jeter more days or half days off without totally handicapping the lineup or defense.
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