Hot Stove Rumors
There is a baseball rumor that I would like to discuss this morning.
People like SI's Jon Heyman have reported that the Red Sox are interested in JD Drew and the Rocky Mountain News has even reported that Drew is "expected" to sign a 2-year $30 million deal with Boston. Either way - 2-years at $30 million or 4-years at $50 million plus - the idea of signing JD Drew bothers me.
With Drew the Red Sox would have 4 outfielders who should play every day - Drew, Manny Ramirez, Coco Crisp and Wily Mo Pena. With Drew in the fold - that means one of the other three probably gets traded. Let's look at all three:
1. What would an offseason be without Manny being traded rumors? The thing is - now his formerly huge contract is down to just 2-years and slightly less than $40 million. That's a bargain for a hitter like Manny. And let's not forget that losing Manny would also reduce the productivity of David Ortiz since everyone and their brothers would now simply walk Ortiz without a Manny to protect him in the line-up. I HATE the idea of trading Manny. The only way it would make sense to me is if Manny's knee is worse than reported and that Manny is now at the point where he needs to be a DH.
2. Trading Coco Crisp wouldn't make me tear up. I've long advocated an under contract Crisp (3-years $15 million with a 2010 option) for Torii Hunter ($12 million for 2007) trade (but trading for Hunter with Drew already signed makes no sense at all). However, if Crisp was traded for prospects or pitching then Wily Mo Pena could play center, Drew play right and Manny play left. That would be OK by me.
3. Trading Wily Mo Pena makes no sense to me either. Pena is dirt cheap compared to the other outfielders and he's just 24-years old. The Red Sox would have to get a pitcher better than Bronson Arroyo for the transaction to make sense.
But why sign JD Drew in the first place? Why let the 32-year old, lefty, NASCAR loving Trot Nixon leave as a free agent but bring in the lefty, redneck, 31-year old Drew to take his place? Letting Nixon leave is a good move but bringing Drew in to replace him in the current situation makes no sense unless there is some MLB affirmative action policy quota for rednecks that I don't know about.
Drew is often-injured (you can't read a story about him without that qualifier being attached to his name) but he's also lost a step (witness just 2 stolen bases last year with 3 caught stealing). His power also seems to be slipping (witness his HR per AB rate which went from 1 HR every 16.8 AB in 2005 to 1 HR every 24.7 AB in 2006). All the red flags are there with Drew so why would the Red Sox ignore them and sign Drew? It makes no sense to me.