Report: 'No way' Yankees sign Stephen Drew or Kendrys Morales
It was a successful weekend for the Yankees, who took three out of four from the Red Sox and enter this week tied for first in the AL East. But despite that success, New York is seriously banged up, especially in the infield. Mark Teixeira is on the disabled list with a strained hamstring, Francisco Cervelli will likely join him with a hamstring strain of his own, and both Derek Jeter and Brian Roberts are sidelined with a quad strain and a sore back, respectively. The team's infield was already thin to begin with: Teixeira's injury has forced regular third baseman Kelly Johnson to shift to first base, with rookies Yangervis Solarte and Dean Anna picking up the slack.
All of that has fueled speculation that the Yankees could reach out to and sign free agents Stephen Drew or Kendrys Morales to plug their various holes. But New York will reportedly soldier on with its roster as currently constructed, with a team source telling ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews that there's "no way" that either Drew or Morales will don pinstripes any time soon.
According to Matthews, the hangup with both Drew, who spent 2013 with the Red Sox, and Morales, most recently with the Mariners, is money. Both players turned down one-year qualifying offers in the offseason that would have paid them $14.1 million in 2014, and both are represented by Scott Boras, who has never shied away from asking for as much as he can get for his clients. That's the sticking point with the Yankees, with the team source telling Matthews, "Nobody's signing Drew or Morales, not at the money they're asking."
Matthews reports that Drew is seeking a multi-year deal worth $14 million per season, and that Morales turned down multiple offers from Seattle. Both Morales and Drew had their markets shrink in the offseason thanks to draft pick compensation tied to their qualifying offers. Signing either of of them would cost the Yankees a second-round pick, unless the team waited until after the draft on June 5, at which point signing either player wouldn't cost the team a pick. Assuming New York doesn't call on either Drew or Morales, it will be forced to patch together an infield from a mess of spare parts. Though Teixeira told reporters he would likely return Sunday, Cervelli is headed to the DL for what is likely an extended period of time. Jeter and Roberts are day-to-day, but backup shortstop Brendan Ryan remains stuck on the DL. Catcher Austin Romine, first baseman Russ Canzler and infielder Scott Sizemore are potential call-up options from Triple A Scranton Wilkes-Barre.