By John Delcos
Photo Credit: Getty Images
It’s not hard to figure out the New York Mets aren’t thrilled with the prospect of entering the season with Ruben Tejada as their shortstop. Despite off-season assertions from GM Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins they would be happy with Tejada, there are events to the contrary.
Despite praise for Tejada’s participation in an off-season fitness camp in Michigan, there have been reports he’s not exactly buff. This can’t please Collins, who has already called out Tejada on his work ethic.
Perhaps, the most damning stories have been the reports from outside camp, beginning with the incessant drum beating to sign Stephen Drew coupled with Alderson’s reluctance to draw the line on the subject.
Either the Mets want Drew or they don’t. ``Most unlikely [we will sign him],’’ as Alderson says, leaves open the door. That’s definitely not good news for Tejada and leaves the impression the Mets don’t know what they are doing; especially considering Alderson said upgrading shortstop was an off-season priority.
Next are reports the Mets are interested in Seattle’s Nick Franklin, which tells us Drew’s asking price remains high, and it goes beyond the compensatory draft pick as an obstacle.
Just as they were with Ike Davis, the Mets’ ambivalence in addressing possible Tejada replacements indicate there’s little desire to keep him if there’s an affordable alternative.
As for Drew, his agent Scott Boras, has him working out in a facility he set up outside of Miami. The sticking point is the compensatory draft pick and there have been reports Drew could stay out until after the June amateur draft when that condition is removed.
Hopefully, the Mets will have a shortstop they are happy with by then.
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***John Delcos has covered Major League Baseball for over 20 years, including the Mets and Yankees since 1998. He is a Hall of Fame voter and owns and operates a Mets website, New York Mets Report.com