Sunday, January 16, 2011


A lot of people, including the silent majority that read this blog but don't comment, have asked me a lot about what I think about JD Drew's 2011 season. As we all know, the man who posted the second-highest OPS of all AL outfielders in 2009 has started to think retirement, once in March and again in September saying he's considering retirement after his contract expires after 2011. So here I am, clearing up what I actually think is going to happen with this guy.

1. JD Drew will retire after the 2011 season. No doubt about it. I mean, even if he decides to have a compete level above 2.5 at any point of the season and performs well this season, is there any chance he can get a contract more lucrative than $14 million a year? Probably not. And is JD really looking to maximize lifetime earnings? Probably not. He's already made upwards of $125 million. He has a ton of land in Georgia. He has a ton of land in Kansas. He has tons of bows. He has all he wants.

2. This is just an extension of point number one. Unless the economy rebounds and someone is willing to give JD a raise over the $14 million, he is taking a pay cut. Do you think JD would really want to play for less money? It's hard enough to get the guy to show up for $14 million. Do you really think he'd play for $13 million or less? Give me a break.

3. JD will NOT take his compete level above 2.5 this year. Yes, he performed well in 2004 and 2006, when he was in contract years. But he was actually playing for something. Going on assumptions #1 and #2, JD's only playing for pride and his legacy this year. He has been able to play for his legacy for the last thirteen baseball seasons - and he's proven he doesn't give a crap about his legacy.

4. The "light at the end of the tunnel" assumption - the one that will inspire Drew to play hard because he doesn't have too much time left playing baseball - is garbage. Do any of you guys work with people close to retirement? Do they care? No! They're the ones unwilling to learn anything new, the ones who are really good at golf, the ones treating their job like a rental car (in nine months it won't matter!), and the ones counting down the days. The professionals who are the most productive are the young ones who aren't burned out and don't yet have the money for a country club membership. JD was burned out by the time he was 23. As JD is close to retirement, and he treats this job like any regular professional, he will contribute another listless season to the 2011 Red Sox.

4a. The only way this may be different is in October. The Red Sox are a favorite to win the American League (debatable, as we've discussed). If the Red Sox can prevent 5- or 7-game series, it will mean less overall baseball. Therefore, in the last three weeks of his baseball career, JD Drew might actually show up.

This post got bumped to Sunday night after the Soriano signing, which is awesome because I will now be able to defend my post. Here we go.


Anonymous said...


There's no reason to expect JD Drew will play any better than he's played in his time with the Red Sox. He's not a young player. He has a very lengthy body of work. It is a decent body of work. But it is certainly not prodigious. He will be exactly what he's always been this coming season--he'll hit .270-275, walk a decent amount of time, strike out a lot, pull a lot of ground outs, hit 20 homers and drive in 65 runs. And he'll play 130 games. That's what you get with him. Not exciting, not awful, but certainly not worth $70 million over five years.

On a completely unrelated note, I'm glad I'm not a big football fan. I've often felt out of the loop because I don't have the same passion for the Patriots that just about everyone else I went to college with had, but this week I can actually enjoy that feeling. Because they sucked on Sunday.

Lastly, the NBA season is really shaping up. There are a number of really good teams out there--Lakers, Spurs, Heat, Celtics, Bulls, and Magic (I'd list the Mavs but they are playing like garbage right now) with the Thunder, Hawks, Jazz, and Mavs just behind. It could be one of the most exciting postseasons in recent memory. Let's just hope all the Celtics stay healthy.

--the Gunn

Patrick said...

dv - a comment!

i do not think there is much of a chance that jd drew retires. it's too easy for him to make money. as gunn said, you can pretty much pencil his production in. he doesn't have to work overly hard to get there it seems. and he seems to be very financially motivated. yes, he's set for a long time. but he has been so for a while, before he opted out to get a bigger contract with the sox. the money he'd get on a new contract will still be significant relative to his career earnings, and i think the money is too easy for him to pass up.

TimC said...

First, kudos to you guys for leaving this one up an extra day. Some of us celebrate MLK day, it seems.

Number 3 is a good point and I agree with you guys who feel he won't step up in this 'contract' year. That said, PF, if you think he is not going to retire, does that put you in the camp of thinking he might have another above-average (read: better than the performance during the rest of the contract) season?

The fortunate thing is that Boston is not counting on him stepping up in a contract year. Unlike in 2004, when it seemed a number of guys were being strung out on the last year of their deals in an effort to coax increased performance, this year's edition of the Sox looks like a contender without a 5-15% boost from JD factored in. If he is a 'bonus' player, as in any positive production is to be considered above and beyond what we expect, that is fine by me.

Gunn, Crumpler, Chung, and Brady- not sure who I would blame first. Football is a far more simple game than it is often made out to be and the AFC playoffs so far have shown it. One timeout by Indy, two drops by Baltimore WRs, and three uncharacteristically bonehead plays from Patriots have basically been the difference so far. Credit goes to Pittsburgh and the Jets, of course, for being ready to pounce on miscues and for not making any on their own. The Pats also sorely, sorely missed Moss on Sunday since he generally represented 'Plan B' for any cases of the offense struggling- maybe we'll get into that later in the week.

Final thought on that game- the Jets, for all their yak, are only right back where they were last year. That is, a wild-card team in the AFC title game. They had a better regular season, sort of, but then again, so did mostly everyone else.

the gm at work said...

Agree with Gunn about how there's going to be no increase in performance. Another year of being basically invisible. Maybe a good month here, maybe a month as a liability there, but on the whole, invisible.


Is playing baseball easy for JD? If it were easy and/or enjoyable, he wouldn't take so much paid time off. Working another, let's say, three years for $24 million total cannot sound like a good thing.

Tim C,

JD takes MLK Day off. I thought the lack of comments yesterday was another example of people's overall malaise toward my sharp wit toward the overall JD Drew situation. I am relieved that this is not the case. Do YOU think he plays baseball next year?

TimC said...

Do I think he is on a roster, or do I think he plays baseball?

the gm at work said...

Beer league baseball on Friday nights and only Friday nights doesn't count.