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Stephen Drew wants opt-out after one year

Feb 7, 2014, 1:21 AM EDT

Stephen Drew Getty Getty Images

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York was told by a source that agent Scott Boras is seeking a multi-year contract for Stephen Drew which includes an opt-out clause after the first season.

Boras has had a hard enough time finding a team who is willing to surrender a draft pick (and the corresponding draft pool money) in order to sign Drew, so he’s probably pushing his luck here. Not surprisingly, Rubin hears that such a scenario is a “deal-breaker” for the Mets, though they would consider a two- or three-year deal without an out-clause.

The Red Sox haven’t completely closed the door on re-signing Drew and the idea of him leaving after one year could make sense there, since he would mostly be seen as a stopgap option at shortstop anyway. Of course, if he struggles or gets hurt this season, the Red Sox would likely be stuck with him for 2015. And that would be less than ideal.

It’s probably too late in the winter to demand such things, but something will have to give soon. We’re just a week away from pitchers and catchers reporting for most teams.

  1. plmathfoto - Feb 7, 2014 at 1:48 AM

    Sooo… Mr Boras, if you want an opt out clause, that means you’re willing to take less money for that first year, right…?

    Dead silence.

  2. aceshigh11 - Feb 7, 2014 at 2:53 AM

    Oh, he’s a Drew alright.

    • gibbyfan - Feb 7, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      OPT OUT CLAUSE–Translation..let’s enter into a contract –if I perform well I get to cancel and go somewhere else……….if I perform poorly –your stuck……begs the question-why not just do a one year contract or would that be asking too much of Drew to actually have to perform well to get paid well

  3. onbucky96 - Feb 7, 2014 at 4:17 AM

    Scott Boras, doing his best to keep Steven Drew unemployed. What a tool, glad teams have stopped giving Satan everything he commands.

    • Kevin S. - Feb 7, 2014 at 4:37 AM

      What is it about Scott Boras that drives people to the point of histrionics?

      • unclemosesgreen - Feb 7, 2014 at 7:59 AM

        The fact that he’s the best there ever was at what he does. The fact that he’s almost always right. I’ve seen more predictions of ruination for his clients, scorched earth for MLB, failure of his negotiation tactics …. and guess what – it never comes to pass. His guys get paid. They get paid more than other guys of equal talent with different agents.

        Never mind that MLB is healthier financially than it’s ever been, never mind that most owners are only putting a fraction of their profits towards the on-field product while collecting luxury tax money from the owners who spend big to win big. Never mind that Boras is merely moving some of those profits to the labor side of the equation.

        He’s the devil. He’s ruining …. something. I don’t even know what anymore.

      • zzalapski - Feb 7, 2014 at 9:19 AM

        Nothing breeds contempt like success. Just ask fans of the Yankees, Red Sox, or Cardinals.

  4. sincitybonobo - Feb 7, 2014 at 4:23 AM

    There’s a fine line between being a zealous advocate for your client’s interests and making such a statement in February on behalf of a guy with the loss of a first-round draft pick hung around his neck.

    Drew did turn down a $14 million one-year deal with Boston, let’s not forget. Boras appears to have painted himself and his client into a corner. His track record for miracles is about to be tested. But, all it takes is one GM to turn water into wine.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 7, 2014 at 8:58 AM

      Boras appears to have painted himself and his client into a corner. His track record for miracles is about to be tested.

      I’ll take, what we’ve been saying every single year for the last 10+ years for $500 Alex…

  5. uyf1950 - Feb 7, 2014 at 6:50 AM

    I put the chance of even Boras being able to sell a team on giving up their draft pick whether or not it’s a “protected” 1st rounder and giving Drew an opt-out after one year as virtually zero.

    Even as the piece mentions that might be something that the Sox would have a problem with for the reason(s) mentioned.

    I’ve stated this before the best to option I think for Drew are:
    1) To wait and see what happens with teams at ST. There is usually some team that comes up with an issue with a position they thought they had covered. Drew just has to hope it a team and a position he can fill.
    2) To wait until the amateur draft the beginning of June when teams will no longer be required to surrender a draft pick to sign him.

    Of course there is always the obvious choice to go back to the Red Sox with his “tail between his legs” and beg them to sign him to a 1 year deal for something close to the QO he turned down.

    Lets face it Drew is NOT in a very enviable position at this point.

    • uyf1950 - Feb 7, 2014 at 7:35 AM

      correction: I’ve stated this before the best “two options” I think for Drew are….

    • spudchukar - Feb 7, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      I envy his position!

  6. droman79 - Feb 7, 2014 at 7:38 AM

    If you’re the Mets, what is the issue with the opt-out? You only wanted him for one year anyway… Let him opt-out, and negotiate with the other shortstops next year (which supposedly is the reason why they didn’t want to sign him to a long term deal in the first place).

    Seems like everyone would win in this scenario.

    • tedwmoore - Feb 7, 2014 at 7:58 AM

      As has been mentioned, if you surrender a draft pick and draft pool money to sign a guy, you likely don’t want him walking after one year. Or, put another way, his first-year salary would have to be extremely low to compensate for the lost value of the draft pick. Which becomes a problem when his salary balloons in years 2+, because then the team bears all the risk of underperformance or injury.

  7. rdillon99 - Feb 7, 2014 at 7:50 AM

    An opt out after one year would be okay if it could somehow be agreed in advance that if Drew did exercise his option to opt out he would also agree to decline a Qualifying Offer from the team, so that the team would then be entitled to a compensatory pick should he sign elsewhere next off-season

    • happytwinsfan - Feb 7, 2014 at 8:57 AM

      that would make sense, but would it be allowable under the labor agreement. if he, via a legally enforceable agreement, stipulates that he will decline a qualifying offer, then the qualifying offer isn’t really an offer.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 7, 2014 at 9:00 AM

        that would make sense, but would it be allowable under the labor agreement

        I’m pretty sure this is forbidden, but there’s really no way for MLB to enforce it.

      • Francisco (FC) - Feb 7, 2014 at 10:23 AM

        Heck Ibanez rejected arbitration (what teams offered to FA’s before QO existed) from the Phillies which they only gave him with the understanding that he would reject it. So that sort of handshake agreement is entirely possible.

  8. icanspeel - Feb 7, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    Who in their right mind would surrender a draft pick for a potential 1 year rental of Drew?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 7, 2014 at 9:01 AM

      Teams that either have a protected 1st rounder or teams like the Yanks who would be giving up a 3rd rounder for him?

      • happytwinsfan - Feb 7, 2014 at 9:05 AM

        true a third rounder is worth a lot less then a first or seconder rounder, but do the yanks really want to live with 0 picks for the first three rounds. talk about buying a one way ticket to free agent / perpetual luxuary tax land

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 7, 2014 at 9:31 AM

        In Drew’s case, I would because his talent, and downstream impact, are far greater than what a 3rd round pick can provide in the next few years. The Yanks should be doing everything possible to ensure that Jeter isn’t the full time SS this year. Signing Drew to a multi-year deal could solve that issue, and the future SS issue for years to come.

        Let’s also not forget it’s possible Boras is inserting this opt-out clause into the Mets negotiation as a way to get Drew out of the Mets cross-hairs. I wouldn’t put it past the master to insert this type of poison pill into a contract.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 7, 2014 at 9:32 AM

        Also, as a fan of the Yanks, why should I care about the luxury tax? Why should I care how much money the owner’s take home at the end of the year?

      • stabonerichard - Feb 7, 2014 at 11:40 AM

        Drew is on the wrong side of 30, averaged fewer than 100 games played over the past 3 seasons, and will cost a draft pick. This is a blueprint Yankee transaction.

  9. nymets4ever - Feb 7, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    Only in this depressed market can a player like Stephen Drew get away with acting like he’s Ernie Banks.

  10. tfbuckfutter - Feb 7, 2014 at 8:50 AM

    So, you want a one-year-make-good deal, but if you fail at making good, you want the security net of multiple years.

    Jesus Christ already. Why not give him the option to opt out after every multi-hit game?

  11. happytwinsfan - Feb 7, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    if he’s being this dumb, i guess i don’t have too feel that the twins probably aren’t even taking a sniff at him, although their alternative barely hits 200 with no power.

  12. psousa1 - Feb 7, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    Boras has no shame. If my client has a good year we want out and not honor year two – if he has a sh!t year we’ll do the right thing and honor year two.

    What a POS

    Good luck Drew. You are going to need it. Better chance of you playing on my softball team (I will even move over to 3B for you) this spring than you getting a multi year deal.

  13. pastabelly - Feb 7, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    Boras isn’t perfect and makes mistakes. There are two things that bother people about Boras. The first is that he is arrogant. The second is that if he represents players on your favorite team, you need to track that because, unless your favorite team is the Yankees, chances are good that player will be playing for someone else after his arbitration years are over. It’s one of the reasons I told my kid last year not to be in a hurry to buy any Ellsbury t-shirts or jerseys. We bought him an oversized Pedroia replica jersey even before he signed his new deal. Wouldn’t have made that purchase if Boras were his agent. :)

  14. nolasoxfan2012 - Feb 7, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    Boras is excellent at getting his clients’ money. He usually gets them lots of money, probably a good bit more than the average agent. He’s pulled off a few miracles, getting owners to hand out absurd contracts. Great for him. I’m less certain about how well he serves his clients’ overall interests. Does Drew want to go play for the Mets, or is this where Boras is leading him because he can get a little more money there AND/OR free up the shortstop spot in Boston for one of his two clients – Bogaerts and Marrero? The potential for conflict of interest here (and with Ellsbury and Jackie Bradley, Jr.) is hard to overlook. Maybe Drew has always dreamed of playing for the Mets, or he wants to absolutely max out his salary. Totally possible.

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