Now that the season is winding down, it’s important to entertain a few questions about next year’s team.  One unknown which needs to be addressed is the Mets’ shortstop situation.  For the past four months, fans have watched Omar Quintanilla man the position displaying average to below average success.  After Thursday afternoon’s game, Quintanilla has now reached 300 at bats, which is a fair sample size to judge an everyday shortstop; especially for a player in his eighth major league season.   He is currently batting .227 with 2 HR, 21 RBIS, and only 11 extra base hits.  His defense, despite his propensity to play an unusually deep shortstop, has been steady.  There are many moments this season in which Quintanilla has made a significant defensive play to save a run or suppress a rally, but hardly enough of them to warrant any expanded role next year, considering his offensive production.  Terry Collins will continue to sing his praises as long as he is on the roster, partly due to the growing disdain for the season’s original starting shortstop, Ruben Tejada.  If the organization is going to make a transition to playoff contention next year, they need to sort out this dilemma, once they admit they have one.

If serenading Quintanilla with bloated, unjustified compliments is the strategy to motivate an uninspired Tejada, then the plan needs to change, or at least be more ambitious. It is imperative that Sandy Alderson makes a decision in the offseason regarding going forward with Tejada or to upgrade outside the organization.  The broken fibula suffered by Tejada Wednesday night has proved to put an end to his season and damper any chances he had in September to re-enter the good graces of Alderson and Collins.  It should be concluded Quintanilla is not an option, and if it is believed Tejada is a limited long-term alternative, then it’s time to consider outside options. Since Gavin Cecchini, last year’s first round draft pick, is only 19 and deemed a few years away, a free agent signing could be a solution.

Stephen DrewStephen Drew is rounding out a solid, bounce back year for the Red Sox who are about to win the A.L. East.  Entering last night’s game, Drew has a slash line of .245/.328/.427 including 12 HR and 62 RBIs.  He has made only seven errors in 116 games.  Drew is due to become a free agent after the season, and with top prospect Xander Bogaerts ready to assume full time duties at shortstop, it is conceivable the Red Sox will not resign him.  While there is a durability concern with Drew after he missed 159 games in 2011 and 2012 via injury,  this year has proven to show the promise he had early in his career with Arizona when he was a highly touted prospect.  Drew is making just under ten million a year this season, and if you take the Mets at their word regarding spending next year, the 30 year old shortstop could be there for the taking.  The market could determine whether signing true comes to fruition, but signing Drew would make strides in solidifying a position, that at the moment holds much doubt.

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8 comments on “Stephen Drew may be the best option at shortstop

  • amazin

    Judging from TC’s comments expect Tejada at SS for the first 30-40 games. Why? I don’t know, ask Terry. Expect Ike or Duda on first. Why? I don’t know. Expect the Mets to finish under 500 for the 6th season in a row.

  • Zozo

    If we can figure away to trade for either Tulo, castro or Andrus, then he is our next best option. If I recall correctly his agent is boras, so he will drag it out to the very end…

    • David Groveman

      Tulo – Why is Colorado trading him?

      Castro – An interesting thought as Chicago might be down on him, but then again why would they sell low on a player who is cheap?

      Andrus – If something is done about the contract… maybe.

      • Chris F

        Tulo—I think the bottom finish is taking a toll, and they are trolling to see what they might get. He may be too old to figure into whatever plans they have hatching?

        Castro makes JV1 ook like David Wright in terms of comportment and team play. He’s the laziest sack o crap Ive seen play baseball. Had I not watched it first hand sitting behind Cubs dugout this season I almost wouldnt believe it. Then the Sveum sit downs for lackadaisical play confirmed all I need to know.

        Andrus’ contract is scary to be sure. Texas is wheeling and dealing…Maybe we can get Wash in the deal too!!!

  • Chris

    Tulo would be great just as long as Synergaard isn’t part of the deal. He is owed a ton and gets hurt a bit. Montero, Flores, Abreu, Maybe Gee if necessary(although I really like Gee), or maybe Meija or Familia. Then yes.

    Castro is a good choice and we would seem to have enough to get a guy like him

    Then maybe Drew as a third option

  • Jim OMalley

    It won’t take long before the Mets will lose their “surplus” in pitching prospects so if the Mets can sign a SS rather than trade for one, I think that is the smart thing to do. Drew seems like an upgrade over Quint and (I think) an even larger upgrade over Tejada.

  • Metsense

    After right field, shortstop is the greatest need. If a free agent is to be signed then he must be much better than the 2012 Tejada in order to justify the increased expenditure. Drew or Perralta are the only two free agents that meet this criteria.Drew has avg a a1.4 WAR and Peralta has avg a PED enhanced 3.9 WAR over the last three years yet Drew is going to cost more to sign. I think Peralta will be the better value, but I am not enamored with either.
    The other option is trade, and it should be explored, especially Owings in Arizona, but the Mets may not have enough tradeable talent for that kind of deal unless they give up a starter, which I am opposed to at this juncture.
    To rely on Tejada to commit to a rehab when he can’t even come into camp in shape would be an error in judgement.

  • NormE

    If the Mets deem one OF spot and SS as their two highest acquisition priorities, it may be that one may be filled by trade and one by free agency. It’s hard to imagine that the Mets have enough talent to trade for both spots unless they denude themselves of pitching. Based on Alderson’s history it would be a reach to believe that he’ll go the FA route for two significant players.
    My guess is that Alderson will weigh the merits (talent and money) of the FAs available before deciding how to proceed. Given the limited availability of top level talent it would not be a surprise if Alderson’s conservative approach may not get the Mets any significant FA talent. Drew might be an appealing choice, but what about the Yankees or Phillies (to mention just two)? Those two teams, if they get involved, could drive up the price and cause Sandy to fold his cards.

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