After many delays and much revision, the Boston Red Sox and J.D. Drew have finally agreed to the five year contract. The Red Sox have an out clause in case Drew’s shoulder does not allow him to play consistently in either year three or year four of the deal. Gordon Edes at the Boston Globe
[S]ources with direct knowledge of the negotiations said all parties have signed off on an agreement that allows the Sox to achieve their goal of making Drew their right fielder and No. 5 hitter, while giving the team the right to void either of the last two years of the deal, or both, should Drew’s right shoulder render him unable to play.
Drew is not expected to be in Boston for today’s announcement.
Under the terms of the contract, if Drew goes on the disabled list in his third year for issues related to the shoulder for a proscribed length of time, the Sox have the option to void the final two years. If he winds up on the disabled list in his fourth year, the Sox have the option of voiding the final year.
The Red Sox have long coveted the offensive machine that is J.D. Drew. Unfortunately, Drew has been snakebitten by repeated injuries, some as the results of pitched balls, but just as often, minor twinges have hampered him. He has, however, played at least 145 games in two of the last three seasons. His MVP-like campaign in 2004 for the Braves was the best of his career, as he posted .305/.436/569 with 31 homeruns. The Red Sox are hoping for that kind of performance hitting behind Manny Ramirez.
Looking at the Red Sox lineup, we see a hitting machine.
SS Julio Lugo
1B Kevin Youkilis
DH David Ortiz
LF Manny Ramirez
RF J.D. Drew
3B Mike Lowell
C Jason Varitek
CF Coco Crisp
2B Dustin Pedroia
Fourth outfielder Wily Mo Pena will be underutilized coming off the bench, but barring a trade, there is no starting role for him. I did a brief and largely unscientific study of Pena early last season, before injuries landed him on the disabled list. Pena played significantly better in a regular, defined starting role. Pena hit considerably worse when he started irregularly, compared to when he played several days in a row. The sample size was limited, so the data support no conclusions. But it bears watching, can Wily Mo Pena produce playing three or four times a week? Eric Hinske will also be available for corner outfield duty as well as corner infield duty and Alex Cora comes back to back up the middle infielders. Doug Mirabelli will be caddying for Tim Wakefield, unless prospect George Kottaras earns the backup job in spring training. The Red Sox bench is competent.
What dazzles is the awfully pricey starting rotation
Julian Tavarez and Kyle Snyder can act as swingmen in case any starter needs to miss a start or two. And Jon Lester, who battled non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in the offseason, will be getting back up to speed likely in Pawtucket, the Red Sox AAA affiliate. In addition to Tavarez and Snyder, the Red Sox have Joel Pinheiro, Mike Timlin, Brendan Donnelly, JC Romero and Hideki Okajima in the pen. That’s a complete pitching heavy roster. The Red Sox might try to sneak Kyle Snyder through waivers and stash him at Pawtucket in favor of carrying an additional hitter like Kerry Robinson or Alex Ochoa, who were signed to minor league contracts. The uncertainty at closer looms, but on paper that’s a solid team. In the wings is the possible return of Roger Clemens, who will decide between the Red Sox, Yankees and the Astros where he will play part of the 2007 season.
Will it be enough to overtake the Yankees? Only the games will tell. Outside the Beltway Sports will look at the Yankees next.
- Tampa Bay 1B Carlos Pena out for the season with two broken fingers
- Royals Week in Review – 5/18/07
- Florida Marlins’ Anibal Sanchez likely to be out for two months
- Yankees fighting Murphy’s Law
- Hanley Ramirez Hurts His Shoulder (Again)
- Red Sox Offseason Progress – Starting Pitching
- JD Drew Update – Nothing To Report Again
- Clemens in Tampa helping Hughes
- John Smoltz’ Season Ending Surgery
- Philip Rivers Era Begins in San Diego
- Eight is Enough- Edmonton beats Chicago 8-4
- Lydia Ko wins New South Wales Open
- The Comeback I- Pittsburgh Penguins beat NY Islanders 5-0
- Seattle Mariners Outfielder Greg Halman stabbed to death at age 24
- Hee Young Park wins CME Titleholders Championship
- Oklahoma State Women’s Basketball Coach Kurt Budke dead at 50
- Costly mistake- Blackhawks waive Rostislav Olesz
- Manager Tony La Russa announces retirement
- Puck Drop- Florida Panthers start the 2011-12 NHL season
- 13-time PGA Tour winner Dave Hill dead at 74
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