Why Do the Red Sox Like the Drews?

Reports have it that the Red Sox have agreed to terms with shortstop Stephen Drew on a 1-year, $9.5mm deal. If a .657 OPS yields $9.5mm a year, then imagine what you’d get if you were a good player?

In fairness, Drew isn’t a career .657 OPS hitter, but he was last year, an injury filled campaign. Stephen isn’t an OBP guy, like his brother J.D., but he does have decent power for the shortstop position. If healthy, we might be lucky to see a .800 OPS.

I understand why they made this deal, Jose Iglesias isn’t ready to hit Major League pitching (or professional pitching) and he’d have been a void in the 9th spot. Drew buys him another year of offensive seasoning. I get that. But why shell out $9.5mm on a guy who hasn’t hit well since 2010? And he was injured last year. Wouldn’t $5mm have gotten it done?

See, the Red Sox have all of this payroll flexibility now and they are bringing in new players all over the place and because they want to keep the deals short, they are being forced to shell out higher average annual salaries as a result. Again the hope being that in 2-3 years, Red Sox minor leaguers are manning most of the positions and pitching staff slots. It’s a bridge.

The Red Sox now look like this:

c – Saltalamacchia/Ross/Lavarnway
1b – Napoli (reports say he failed his physical and the Red Sox don’t want to go 3-years on him anymore)
2b – Pedroia
3b – Middlebrooks
ss – Drew
lf – Gomes
cf – Ellsbury
rf – Victorino
dh – Ortiz

This is a line-up heavy on platoon players (all catchers, Gomes, Drew and Victorino), and some solid major league hitters (Ortiz, Ellsbury, Pedroia, Napoli and hopefully Middlebrooks).