The Yankees got around to making the Stephen Drew deal official Friday, more than a week after agreeing to a one-year, $5-million contract.
Drew, who will turn 32 in March, is expected to be the team's starting second baseman despite never playing anywhere but shortstop before the Yankees moved him to second for 34 games last season.
After trading Martin Prado to the Marlins in December, the Yankees chose to go with a more experienced infielder rather than audition a pair of prospects -- Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela -- for the second-base job in spring training.
Drew batted .150 with three home runs and a .219 on-base percentage during his 46-game stay with the Yankees. He hit a career-low .162 in 85 games overall.
Drew missed all of spring training and went unsigned until May 21, when the Red Sox finally brought him back on a one-year, $9.5-million deal. Drew had rejected Boston's $14.1-million qualifying offer the previous November.
Even with Drew on board and solidifying the middle of the infield with new shortstop Didi Gregorius, Hal Steinbrenner praised the team's prospects this week at the owners' meetings and expressed hope they will contribute soon.
"Refsnyder and Pirela were options,'' Steinbrenner said. "But we did a lot of talking with our player development people and I think they believe that you haven't seen the best of either one of those guys yet. There's more room for growth. So we'll see where we end up there.''
Gee, Murphy, Tejada agree
Dillon Gee, currently on the trading block, agreed on a one-year contract worth $5.3 million Friday to avoid arbitration with the Mets, a source confirmed. With the Mets looking to clear rotation space for Matt Harvey, Gee is the starting pitcher most likely to be dealt.
Daniel Murphy also avoided arbitration by agreeing on a one-year deal worth $8 million after the two sides swapped figures earlier Friday. He reportedly had filed for $8.6 million and the Mets offered $7.4 million, so they found common ground at the exact midpoint of the two.
Ruben Tejada, slotted as the backup to Wilmer Flores at shortstop, avoided arbitration by accepting a one-year deal worth $1.88 million. The Mets were unable to come to terms with Lucas Duda and Jenrry Mejia, so the sides exchanged figures that will be tried in arbitration at a later date if an agreement is not reached before then.
Duda filed for $4.7 million and the Mets at $3.75 million; Mejia filed for $3 million, the Mets $2.1 million. In these cases, once the case is heard in arbitration, one of the two numbers is awarded. The last player to make it to arbitration with the Mets was Oliver Perez, who beat them for a $6.5-million salary in 2008 after the team offered $4.725 million.
Yankees avoid arbitration
Michael Pineda, who went 5-5 with a 1.89 ERA last season, agreed to a one-year contract worth a reported $2.1 million to avoid arbitration with the Yankees. Righthander David Carpenter, acquired from the Braves earlier this month, also agreed on a one-year deal, the team said.