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Mets Rumors: Payroll is biggest obstacle to signing Stephen Drew

A report says that the Mets wouldn't mind giving up a third round pick to acquire the shortstop.

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

Stephen Drew is running out of options. Now that the Cardinals have acquired Jhonny Peralta, there's not much demand out there for the veteran shortstop, and Sean McAdam of is reporting that the Mets are a top candidate to acquire Drew.

A big part of that is due to Drew declining his former team's qualifying offer. Any team that signs him will have to forfeit a draft pick, and for most teams, that means giving up a first round pick. For the Mets, though, it only means they would have to give up a third round pick because their first round pick is protected in the top 10 and their second rounder was given up when they inked Curtis Granderson.

The problem for the Mets, then, is monetary compensation. New York isn't likely to have much more money to spend this offseason after adding over $20 million to the 2014 payroll with the Granderson and Chris Young contracts. McAdam speculates that trading Daniel Murphy and either Ike Davis or Lucas Duda (something the Mets appear more than willing to do) could free up some cash to spend on Drew.

Matthew Yaspan examined the market for Drew a few weeks ago and decided that the Mets were probably not going to offer the four- or five-year deal that Drew's agent Scott Boras almost certainly desires. However, with the market for the veteran shortstop shrinking, it's possible that his price could go down.

While Drew has been a plus-defender for most of his career, that could change in the near future with him turning 31 years old before Opening Day 2014. Drew has also been quite injury prone, but he does hit well when he's on the field. Last season for Boston, he put together a .253/.333/.443 line for a 109 wRC+.