The Yankees added some infield depth yesterday as they have agreed to re-sign infielder Stephen Drew to a one-year, $5 million pact, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Drew's deal with the Yankees includes $1.5 million worth of incentives, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, so he can max out with a $6.5 million contract. Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that Drew will receive $500,000 for reaching 450, 500, and 550 plate appearances.
The Yankees acquired Didi Gregorius from the Diamondbacks to play shortstop, so Drew will play second base with the club, at least against right-handed pitching. Drew can also serve as insurance in case anything does happen to Gregorius, or if he just can't handle playing shortstop full-time quite yet.
At second base, the Yankees have two prospects, Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela, that would have been competing for the starting job out of Spring Training. They also have Brendan Ryan for depth. Refsnyder and Pirela are right-handed hitters, so they could platoon with Drew, especially considering that Refsnyder hit .385/.447/.587 against lefties last year.
The 31-year-old Drew did not appear in the Major Leagues until June because him and agent Scott Boras were unable to find a multi-year guarantee in free agency. Drew was offered a qualifying offer that he did not accept following the 2013 season, which caused interest in him to seriously decrease. He ended up getting a one-year, $10.1 million deal from the Red Sox.
The Yankees acquired Drew from the Red Sox on July 31 for Kelly Johnson. Drew hit a horrid .150/.219/.271 line with eight doubles, three home runs, and 15 runs batted in with the Yankees in 155 plate appearances after being traded. Overall, Drew slashed .162/.237/.299 with fourteen doubles, one triple, seven home runs, and 26 runs batted in. His Adjusted OPS+ was 51, the worst mark of his career.
Drew is a good defender and traditionally has been. While he was pretty bad at second base last season, according to UZR and Defensive Runs Saved, Stephen Drew overall was a good fielder as according to FanGraphs' Defensive Rating. Overall, he was worth -1.1 fWAR.