Being a St. Louis Cardinals fan there use to be a hope every year when J.D. Drew was on the Cardinals. The hope was that perhaps this would finally be the year that Drew lived up to the big expectations that were put upon him after leaving Florida State.
First he held out and refused to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies. You can probably guess his agent at this point. None other than the notorious Scott Boras. Drew then signs with the Cardinals and dissappointed St. Louis fans every single year he was in town. If he was not injured (about 60% of the time) then he was loafing around in the outfield, overrunning flyballs, and watching strike three be called countless times.
St. Louis finally got smart and traded Drew to the Atlanta Braves for Jason Marquis, Ray King and Adam Wainwright. King was a solid reliever for a couple of years for the Cards. Marquis was in the starting rotation and good initially before sucking it up and pitching himself off of the World Series roster. Wainwright spent a couple of years in the minors before arriving in the big leagues this year as a relief pitcher. He was the set-up man throughout the regular season. He then becaome the closer when Jason Isringhausen went down with a bum hip towards the end of the year. Wainwright went on to become a World Series hero with his nasty curve ball.
So what has J.D. Drew done during this time? Well he has missed 123 games in those three years since being traded by the Cards. He played one year for the Braves and it was a contract year. So what did Drew do? He played more games than he ever had up to that point. He played in 145 games. He hit .305 with 31 homers and 93 rbi’s.
The Braves decided they couldn’t afford Drew and so the Los Angeles Dodgers offered Drew $55 million dollars for five years. The script gets a little old, but Drew of course was injured over 50% of his first season with the Dodgers missing almost 90 games.
The Dodgers worst nightmare about J.D. was about to come true. The next season, 2006, Drew played 146 games. One more game than he played during his contract year with the Braves. Of course many people didn’t know that Drew could opt out of his contract at the end of the year. Drew had a decent year batting .283 with 20 homers and 100 rbi’s.
The next part is a bit predictible. Drew and his agent, Scott Boras, surprised the Dodgers and told them that they are opting out of the last three years and $33 million dollars of his contract. The Dodgers were intially shocked, disturbed and pissed at Drew and his super agent for going back on their word. The thinking around the rest of baseball land was who is going to pay this average outfielder more than the $11 million dollars per year that he was due from the Dodgers.
Drew and Boras had this part planned all along. They probably had even talked to teams before hand. The team of ‘idiots’ from 2004, the Boston Red Sox, decide to sign Drew for five years and $70 million dollars. It would appear that the so called ‘idiots’ of 04 have moved from the field to the front office. That is $14 million dollars per year for a guy who doesn’t produce and is injured more often than he plays. This for a guy who has hit over thirty homers just once (31) and has a career high in rbi’s of 100.
Boston mentioned Drew’s speed and superior defense as part of the reason they gave him the big contract. Drew has never won a gold glove or come close. He also has stole a total of three bases the past two years.
Drew will play about 60% of the Red Sox games during the tenure of the contract which means that Boston is actually paying J.D. for three years of playing time which equates to $23.3 million dollars per year.
If Boston fans thought the curse of the Bambino was bad then they will be in for a big surprise when the Curse of paying J.D. Drew $70 million greenbacks a year finally registers around July during Drew’s second trip to the disabled list. Think Boston fans you could have had Johnny Damon for the same price. At least that would have been justified and well earned, and unlike Drew, Damon has heart, pride and produces on the field.