With Iglesias Out With A Shin Injury, The Tigers Must Sign Drew – And For A Few Years!!

Stephen Drew has definitely been hindered by the Draft Pick compensation.  Now with Detroit losing their Starting Shortstop for potentially the entire 2014 year, the door has swung open for the 31 Year Old player from Georgia.  If I were Drew and his agent, I would push the envelope for a 2 year deal, or at least have a total near the $14.1 MIL barrier for a one year contract.  Drew is coming off a World Series year in 2013 with Boston, where he fashioned a .777 OPS and 50 Extra Base Hits in just 442 AB.

Stephen Drew has definitely been hindered by the Draft Pick compensation for his services this winter. Now with Detroit losing their Starting Shortstop for potentially the entire 2014 year, the door has swung open for the 31 Year Old player from Georgia. If I were Drew and his agent Scott Boras, I would push the envelope for a 2 year deal, or at least have a total near the $14.1 MIL barrier for a one year deal . Drew is coming off a World Series year in 2013 with Boston, where he fashioned a .777 OPS and 50 Extra Base Hits in just 442 AB.  It will see the Tigers payroll grow some, but is a necessary cost of doing business to preserve the best squad to compete in 2014.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter

With news coming down the pike that Jose Iglesias could miss the entire year due to a shin splints injury, or at least until the ALL – Star Break, going to sign Stephen for a contract now is a must for the Detroit franchise.

Iglesias was supposed to solidify the Infield in Motown this upcoming campaign with his exceptional defense.  However, lets be realistic in that his offense is a bit challenged.

Now with news of his injury wreaking havoc for most of 2014, the Tigers are left with a major void at the position.

Stephen Drew 2013 World Series HR

Jose Iglesias finished 2nd in AL Rookie Of The Year Voting in 2013, but that was more based on his quick start with Boston (.785 OPS in 215 AB, .330 BA) compared to his totals with the Tigers: (.654 OPS in 135 AB, .259 BA).  There is no doubt he is a great defender, but Drew isn't half bad over at SS, and would put up greater offensive numbers.

Jose Iglesias finished 2nd in AL Rookie Of The Year Voting in 2013, but that was more based on his quick start with Boston (.785 OPS in 215 AB, .330 BA) compared to his totals with the Tigers: (.654 OPS in 135 AB, .259 BA). There is no doubt he is a great defender, but Drew isn’t half bad over at SS either, and would put up greater offensive numbers.  With Iglesias becoming injured during a year that the Tigers need to make a long playoff run, Drew is a better option anyway,  I don’t bank in Iglesias for any of 2014, and he is not even proven as an everyday player going forward past this year.  Sign Drew for a multi – year deal, and Iglesias can have time to heal and hone his craft as a backup, or restablishing in the Minors first.

Replacement Infielders internally include Steve Lombardozzi ,4′A’ player Danny Worth or potentially Hernan Perez, but this team has to be in the World Series conversation – otherwise this year falls short of expectations.

Then you look to the trade market.

At this point, the only SS worth while trying to pry out of another organization for championship caliber team is Asdrubal Cabrera, and there is no way the Indians trade him within  the Division if at all.

Would Brad Miller or Nick Franklin wet your beak for a Title Drive?  Not likely.

All signs points to Stephen Drew.  Here is a list of pro’s and con’s of inking the man to a contract.

The Pros

1.  The guy is not much of a defensive drop off from Iglesias, and is a much better offensive player, hitting for a 3 slash of .264/.329/.435.  Last year he featured a .777 OPS – with 50 XBH in just 442 AB.

2.  Drew wouldn’t cost you anyone from the current roster, just physical cash – and a draft pick.

3.  The man just came off a World Series Title with Boston, and has made the postseason with 3 different clubs in career.

4.  If Iglesias were somehow to return, Drew provides great depth for the SS and 3B positions – and maybe better in the short term overall. 

Also excellent in case of a dry spell ever from Nick Castellanos in 2014 or 2015.

5.  With a team full of Right Handed Batters, Drew’s Left Handed Bat would come in handy. joining Alex Avila and Switch Hitter Victor Martinez as the others on the club.

Andy Dirks is on the shelf as the other LHB.  Yes Lombardozzi bats both, but he is better suited for a Utility Bench role.

The Cons

1. Stephen Drew has battled through a myriad of physical problems himself, missing almost 200 games over the course of the last few years.

2. The teams payroll continues to skyrocket at this point.  The Tigers might be better off to wait until halfway through the season, and have a replacement that comes with a pro – rated salary only for the last half of the year.

3.  Obviously losing the Draft Pick isn’t great for a team that need to eventually rebuild through their organization with the aging core of their franchise.

In addition to what I have said here, if I were the Tigers, I would offer him a 2 or 3 year deal.

Also, if I were Scott Boras right now (Drew’s agent), I would ask for at least $14.1 MIL for 1 YR, or carve up that request for a 2 or 3 year deal worth at least $9 – $11 MIL per annum.

When we are looking at the financial long run of the Tigers, we must look to who is coming up in Free Agency after this year.

Victor Martinez suffered a season ending injury before the 2012 year.  The team responded by signing Prince Fielder to a 9 YR/$214 MIL deal.  He has since been traded away but Dombrowski salvaged a 2012 World Series appearance by upgrading the team after the unfortunate injury/  Martinez took a year and a half to regain his form.  The management should treat the Iglesias situation the same.  Drew is an upgrade over Iglesias, just like Fielder was over V-mart.

Victor Martinez suffered a season ending injury before the 2012 year. The team responded by signing Prince Fielder to a 9 YR/$214 MIL deal. He has since been traded away but Dombrowski salvaged a 2012 World Series appearance by upgrading the team after the unfortunate injury/ Martinez took a year and a half to regain his form. The management should treat the Iglesias situation the same. Drew is an upgrade over Iglesias, just like Fielder was over V – Mart.  Furthermore, you don’t have a DH locked up for the 2015 year either.  Having a player like Drew signed for around $10 MIL for the next couple of years adds depth, doesn’t cripple you from pulling off  any other moves, and only costs you cash and  Draft Pick that the odds say would never make it anyway.

Max Scherzer, Torii Hunter and Victor Martinez head a list of ALL – Stars that are without deals past this year.

I have stated several times that I think this team may only retain one of these players.

The prices may be at a premium for Scherzer and V-Mart depending on their 2014 seasons.

I am still of the mindset the club will not have the cash to pay for Scherzer, and I would hold the long-term DH slot for Miguel Cabera (post 2015 year.)

I would try to sign a DH for the 2015 season.

Enough with the finances.  Back to why Drew would be a great fit for a multi-year contract.  What exactly do you have in Iglesias?

The SS will be coming off a major injury to his lower half of body, and he is a player that has next to little power as is.

The Tigers window of opportunity may only be for a couple of more years, so why not double up on the SS and 3B positions?

Detroit is lucky that a player with SS/3B capability is even on the board this late into Spring Training.

I sign the Birthday Boy (Drew is 31 today), for at least 2 years.  That gives Iglesias all the time in the world to recover, and pads the Depth Chart for Infield for a while longer in case Castellanos struggles to start his career.

Nick Castellanos just turned 22 and is projected to be the everyday Staring 3B for the Tigers.  Listed as Baseball America's 37th best prospect in the MLB, he features a career Minor League Slash of .303/.359/.445 in 1601 AB.  Is he ready for the MLB?  By singing Drew for a few years would also provide protection for Castellanos during 2014 and 2015, even if Iglesias comes back early.

Nick Castellanos just turned 22 and is projected to be the everyday Staring 3B for the Tigers. Listed as Baseball America’s 37th best prospect in the MLB, he features a career Minor League Slash of .303/.359/.445 in 1601 AB. Is he ready for an everyday position in Detroit? By singing Drew for a few years would also provide protection for Castellanos during 2014 and 2015, even if Iglesias comes back early and wins back his SS slot.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com ***

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries Posts that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.

A big thank-you goes out to Our ‘Chief WriterHunter Stokes for preparing today’s featured article.  Hunter is a Baseball Writer for MLB reports.

Hunter grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia and played baseball with Sheldon Bream (Sid Bream‘s son) at Liberty University in the NCAA.

His favorite player is Brian Wilson (how could you guess?), and he hates when people can’t think outside the box!

His favorite expression – is ‘ this At Bat is about ten seconds away from a Toe – Tag!

You can reach Hunter on Twitter  

a hunter stokes

Please e-mail us at: mlbreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

Like us on Facebook here

About these ads

About MLB reports

24/7 MLB talk, news, and reports: If baseball is your passion, this site is for you! Follow us on twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/MLBreports

Posted on March 16, 2014, in Free Agency and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Comments are closed.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 19,613 other followers

%d bloggers like this: