Realizing the justified concerns of many, the Red Sox have signed free agent outfielder J.D. Drew to a five-year, $70 million contract. The annual salary ($14 million) isn't the problem; the length of the contract is.
Drew has had problems with his knees, wrist, shoulder, back, ankle and quadriceps at various points in his career. The various injuries have forced him onto the disabled list seven times in the last eight years.. Since becoming an everyday player in 1999, Drew has averaged just 118 games per season. The 31-year-old is a career .286 hitter, with 162 homers and 509 RBIs, averaging 20 and 64 per year, respectively. And though he has never been an All Star, Drew will now be among the highest paid outfielders in the game.
Signing Drew for 2-3 years might be justifiable, due to his career .393 on base percentage. But a five year deal is a disaster waiting to happen. It's only a matter of time before Drew gets hurt again and disappoints the team and the fans. Then the heat will be on.
Here's a prediction; Due to injuries and an underachieving performance, the Red Sox will try to move Drew before this contract is up. But they'll have to eat some of this oversized, bloated deal because a wiser team will see him as the overpaid, damaged goods he is. And at that point, said team will have the Sox over a barrel. Just you wait and see.
Copyright © 2006 Sean M. Kennedy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the author's consent.