Even though the depleted Yankees’ roster is replete with injuries, the team will not pursue the two veterans, citing price as the main issue, according to ESPN New York’s Wallace Matthews. With Mark Teixeira, Brian Roberts, Francisco Cervelli, and others banged up, the Yankees feel comfortable enough with starting Kelly Johnson and Yangervis Solarte. Both players were signed before this season.
Drew, 31, played seven years with the Diamondbacks, and parts of two seasons between the Athletics and the Red Sox. Last season, Drew played in 124 games, with 112 hits, 29 doubles, and a .253 batting average. However his skills have declined since 2010, when he reached double-digit totals in doubles, triples, home runs, and stolen bases. Considering he earned $9.5 million dollars last season, his (potential) performance is not worth nearly that much in the eyes of the front office. Stephen Drew also has older brothers Tim and J.D., both former Major Leaguers.
Morales, 30, played last season with the Seattle Mariners. A feared power hitter back with the Angels, he suffered a gruesome leg injury on a walk-off celebration in 2010. Still, Morales was able to bash 23 homers in 2013, despite the large dimensions of Safeco Field. In fact, he is a very solid hitter, with 167 base knocks last year. His issue is his fielding; on a team brimming with designated hitters, Kendrys has played a combined 59 games in the field over his last two seasons. He made over $5 million last year, and there isn’t enough room on the bench for Morales, his contract, and other players.
Both Drew and Morales are decent, above-average players, but their price tag scares away even the kings of spenders (Yankees and Dodgers). For now, Kelly Johnson and Solarte have played admirably, and there is no reason to pressure them with an influx of free agents.