Thursday, November 09, 2006

JD Drew

Lots of sources reporting that JD is planning to opt out of the three years left on his contract and become a free agent.

Drew is walking away from 3 years and 33 million, so he and his agent (Scott Boras, surprise!) are probably looking for for 4 or 5 years and 12-14 per year. Lets assume the worst and say 5 years/75 million (15 per).

Drew would be a guy that would fit in in the two part scenario I described here. You trade Richie Sexson and the 14 million a year he's due for prospects or pitching, then you take the money and spend it on Drew. Drew plays left, Raul takes over as DH and Broussard plays first.

Drew is just 30 and should be in the prime of his career. He is also apparently made of glass. The most games he has played in 8 full seasons is 146. He averages about 120 games a year. In 2006 he played in 146 games. He started the year hot, but then missed time with a sore shoulder in May and a bruised thigh in June. In early July it was a bruised foot, then later a bruised knee. I think you are getting the picture. He only played in 72 games in 2005, battling a shoulder problem all year, then finally breaking his wrist on a HBP that ended his season. He had surgery on both the wrist and the shoulder in the 2005 off-season.

Drew is an near elite player when healthy. He routinely puts up OBPs in the 400 area code and slugging percentages well north of 500. He has a great combination of power and patience and would absolutely be an improvement over Sexson at a similar price. But he's never healthy. Not for a whole year anyway.

So, should we sign him? It would be a hell of a gamble because there is no way you are getting 5 full years out of him. None. If you keep Snelling as the 4th outfielder, you would almost have to sign a competent 5th outfielder (or someone to DH if you put Ibanez back in the field) and stock Tacoma with a couple of guys who could help you if both Drew and Snelling got hurt. Billy Beane would pull this off beautifully of course, but do we have any confidence Bavasi can?

Still, if it worked, if you got 150 games out of him this year, he's probably worth a win, maybe two over Sexson. That's a pretty big chunk of what the Mariners need to compete this season. I can't quite convince myself that its worth the risk though.


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