On the Fence

Daisuke who?

The Boston Globe gets some dirt on the Drew negotiations, which seemed so promising 10 days ago but had since fallen off the radar screen. As we figured, the huge deals from such lesser outfielders as Juan Pierre and Gary Matthews Jr., as well as other lumniaries like Lee and Soriano have boosted Drew’s asking price. Reading between the lines, Drew seems to want 5 years, $60 million, while the Sox seem to agree on price but are haggling over years.

It’s tough to form an opinion on this because Drew has massive potential in each direction — when healthy, he’s one of the best right fielders in baseball, a .300/.400/.500 guy who would either help the BoSox rival the ChiSox for most intimidating 3-4-5 combo in baseball (Thome-Konerko-Dye) or anchor a pretty-darn-good Drew-Ortiz-Pena combo. But he’s never had two consecutive healthy seasons, and he already had one in 2006. There are questions about whether he plays hard, whether he’s a clubhouse cancer, etc.

On the other other hand, his injury in 2005 was a HBP broken hand, and aside from that, he’s been healthy since undergoing knee surgery in 2003 to fix patellar tendinitis that had been bothering him since 2001. He also would improve the outfield defense.

If, as Nick says and I concur, signing Drew means the Sox trade Ramirez, it could result in a Crisp-Pena-Drew outfield, a huge defensive improvement over Ramirez-Crisp-Pena because Crisp and Pena are better fielders in left and center respectively. So there’s a lot to process. And a lot to be optimistic about. But something keeps nagging me that $14M per season over four or five years is an awful lot of money for a guy who seems a pretty good bet to miss significant time at least twice over the course of the contract. And if Manny is gone and Drew goes down with an injury, the Sox’ lineup will be back to where it was in 2006 — and that was not pretty.

It’s not my money, and the possibility of adding a player of Drew’s caliber is exciting, so it’s hard to say I don’t want him on the Sox. I’m still unsure, however, why he and Julio Lugo are such priorities when Mike Timlin remains the only sure pitcher returning to the bullpen next season.

21 comments… add one
  • Paul, you and I are in almost total agreement on this one. I couldn’t sum up my feelings on this one any better. Excited about the possibility of Drew, but with major reservations. The one thing I don’t agree on is that a Drew signing means a Manny exodus. The two are not inextricably linked, and to move Manny means there has to be a market, which is no sure thing.
    Theo’s lack of efforts at improving the bullpen, at least overtly, bother me the most. I guess if Manny ends up in Anaheim (still a possibility?), then Scot Shields is a must have.

    SF November 25, 2006, 6:43 pm
  • And SF, don’t know if this has been brought up here or not, but the Angels’ signing of Speier actually makes Shields somewhat expendable for them. Also, Shields’s stuff and makeup allows them to market him to teams as a closer, when previously, they wouldn’t/couldn’t market him as anything at all, because K-Rod *could* be an injury waiting to happen.

    Quo November 25, 2006, 10:46 pm
  • well, I didn’t say I thought the Drew signing would lead to a Manny trade, I just asked if anyone thought it meant that. Still, that’s a lot of money to be invested in the outfield for the Sox the next two years. If I had to guess, the Drew signing (and more and more it’s seeming inevitable) makes Manny’s departure that more likely. And the Angels’ signing of Speier is pretty interesting. I wonder if this is setting up a Woods-Shields for Manny swap.

    Nick-YF November 26, 2006, 11:02 am
  • It would be hard to avoid a deal like that, Nick. Maybe the Sox throw in two low-level prospects and get Ervin Santana too.

    Paul SF November 26, 2006, 3:44 pm
  • The way the market is for outfielders and given their offensive needs, you wonder if they could pull of a Shields, Woods and Santana for Manny trade. That would be pretty great for the Sox I have to say.

    Nick-YF November 26, 2006, 3:47 pm
  • The parallels between the external push for the Sox trading Ramirez and the Yankees trading ARod are eerily similar.
    Each are considered in the press as defensive liabilities right now, though I don’t know that their limitations with the glove are anywhere near as much a deficit to their clubs as their detractors would have you believe.
    Each have been portrayed as distractions to their club, but this again is largely a media-fueled conflagration.
    They are two of the best right-handed batters that play a position of the last forty years, but this is conveniently ignored.
    I don’t think any player is un-tradeable. However, these two players’ offensive performance taken as a whole (not-nitpicking one month of sub-optimal performance only against their own metric) is on a level of superlatives where comparisons to other players, except each other, really break down. They’re both that good.
    I really think that the pursuit to trade each of these players in the media is on the level of looking for some sort of Greek tragedy hubris-type downfall, and ignore that along with Pujols, these are players of the current era whose names can be mentioned when speaking of players like Foxx and DiMaggio without over-reaching. It’s quite disappointing that this is where some writers think fans will find entertainment.

    attackgerbil November 26, 2006, 3:52 pm
  • I don’t know, AG. I hate to defend the Boston media here, but Manny has requested a trade each of the last bazillion off-seasons. It’s not out of thin air exactly. The A-Rod trade stuff seems more to be the creation of beat reporters and the like.

    Nick-YF November 26, 2006, 3:58 pm
  • Nick: I understand, except none of the words from Manny are in English. It’s from translated reports from trades about what Manny wants, compounded by speculation to the validity of his “injuries”, and I think he gets picked on because of that. His numbers on the field don’t seem to portray a guy who is mailing it in, regardless of what Dan Shaughnessy wants me to think.

    attackgerbil November 26, 2006, 4:09 pm
  • Oh, definitely I agree with that aspect of the coverage. It’s beyond ridiculous to me that Manny is accused of mailing it in when he consistently is one of the top game players on the Sox.

    Nick-YF November 26, 2006, 4:21 pm
  • I meant to say I agree with you regarding that aspect of the coverage.

    Nick-YF November 26, 2006, 4:21 pm
  • Manny has demanded trades, even according to his agent. I have no love for most of the Boston media, but this isn’t made up.

    SF November 26, 2006, 4:42 pm
  • So Manny has requested trades; I agree that is a fact. Now what? Due to the fact that I don’t speak Spanish, I’ve never been able to read first-hand the the circumstance or parameters of those demands.

    attackgerbil November 26, 2006, 5:22 pm
  • In other words, perhaps I’m being overly-cynical, but I don’t trust a community who has a vested interest in building controversy regarding a player to do the interpretation. No, it doesn’t mean that if I could read it, I’d wouldn’t say, “what an ingrate; dump him.” I can not equate his on-field performance with an indication that he has to be moved.

    attackgerbil November 26, 2006, 5:25 pm
  • To continue to try to fit my foot in my mouth, I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to say that so much of what is force-fed to the “fan” regarding “the player said….” from one report that subsequently gets picked up on the wire and media-blasted (we all read the source when we read the reprint, no? ;) ) to the point it becomes a truism; those few words are now corroborated and multi-faceted in the myriad of stories that follow, as a great distraction to the actual singular quote from the player. Articles build momentum like a rising tide when really, it’s just one quote to begin with, and a quote that is so removed from context to be laughable as being a “truth” as to that player’s original statement.
    Am I defending Manny? I suppose I am. I don’t need to defend his performance.

    attackgerbil November 26, 2006, 5:34 pm
  • I’m hoping like hell the Sox trade Manny.
    The Ortiz-Manny combo has given me enough panic attacks over the last few years, thank you very much.
    They have been the perfect lefty-righty power OBP duo, probably the best ever.
    If the Sox replace Manny with Drew, I like it from a Yanks fan point of view. If the Sox add Drew and keep Manny….Ugh.
    Hey, speaking of Drew, could it be possible that the Sox will be paying Drew more than Ortiz in the next four years?

    whatever November 26, 2006, 6:16 pm
  • That’s an interesting point, we, regarding salary. I think it is just plain nuts to trade Manny for anything that doesn’t include a number one pitcher. You can’t put a bunch of role players and _possible_ franchise players up against a guy like Manny, as much as I would like to see the Sox make that mistake.

    attackgerbil November 26, 2006, 7:36 pm
  • ag, i think you got it right that there’s some misinformation being dispensed, but i’m not so sure that the media is the primary party fueling the trade manny rumor…is it possible that this is the work of the sox management who would need to justify a manny trade to the fans who have come to love and appreciate him as one of the all-time great sox?…despite his talent and contributions, and the fact that his contract [once considered a luxury] is now “coming back” to the market, the new ownership and mgmt have considered him a financial albatross from the beginning, preferring to invest the money on other acquisitions…

    dc November 27, 2006, 12:48 am
  • whatever gets right to the point, and a good one, that any contract Drew signs where he is paid more than David Ortiz would look kind of silly. I suppose if Drew plays 150+ games with + defense in CF or RF with his usual degree of offense you COULD make the argument that he’d be just as/more valuable to the Sox than Papi. You’d be making a ridiculous argument…
    Of course, in a literal sense, if the Sox do sign him, he’ll almost certainly pull in at least $13M/yr. I don’t see why he’d opt-out of a contract at $11M/yr for only 1M more, in this market, as well as the possibility of playing for fans who are a little more attentive (i.e. attend more than the 3rd-7th innings) to their team and the players on it. Such a possiblity wouldn’t seem worth it for a guy who has personal questions that need to be answered.
    I’d like the potential signing a bit more if it weren’t possibly signaling an end of the Manny Ramirez-era in Boston.

    Quo November 27, 2006, 1:00 am
  • that any contract Drew signs where he is paid more than David Ortiz would look kind of silly
    I suppose this is true, superficially. But the market is moving, and rapidly. If a team sets artificial limits internally (“we won’t pay a player any more than our MVP”) then they will be left out in the cold. The Sox (and other teams) have to be somewhat mercenary with the egos of their own; they cannot let one player’s salary, determined in a different market, guide their salary decisions in an entirely different an inflating market. Unless, of course, their goal is to not spend money.

    SF November 27, 2006, 6:28 am
  • I remember how in hockey there was the “Gretzky cap” – where no player is suppose to be paid higher than him…

    Lar November 27, 2006, 9:21 am
  • SF’s got it right. The fact that Drew would be paid more than Ortiz is interesting, but not really relevant. Ortiz signed last year, when the market was low. Now the market is sky-high. C’est la vie.

    Paul SF November 27, 2006, 10:43 am

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.