December 5, 2006


Top 5 2006 NL Right Fielders, by VORP (Baseball Prospectus, 12/05/06)

Player, Team, EqA, VORP

J.D. Drew, LAN, .305, 34.9
Brad Hawpe, COL, .293, 32.0
Moises Alou, SFN, .304, 27.9
Bobby Abreu, PHI, .309, 25.5
Jacque Jones, CHN, .280, 24.6

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 5, 2006 2:40 PM

Of course when you add the AL in Drew comes in a less impressive 5th among rf, and 59th among all payers in VORP. He's behind Dye, Vlad, Ichero and Cuddyer among rfs for example.

I'm of 2 minds about Drew. He's clearly a good hitter, and definitely an upgrade over Trot.

But he's injury prone -- he's averaged only 120 games/season over his 8 year career, and at 31 it seems unlikely he's going to get healthier.

He also hasn't played in the AL ever. Abreu made a seemless transition, and Drew is coming from a pitchers' park, but nonetheless, it's a question mark.

Nor has he been able to translate his admittedly good hitting into rbis. And it's not like he's been playing on poor ballclubs lacking baserunners.

All told, I'd be happy as a Yankee fan to see the Sawx throw out a Drew, CocoChanel, WilyMo outfield next season. Delighted actually.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at December 5, 2006 3:28 PM

Yes, he finally gets to move to a hitters park in a hitters league. A couple of hit by pitches isn't injury prone.

Posted by: oj at December 5, 2006 3:32 PM

The National League is a joke, and please don't give me that who won the WS this year garbage.

Posted by: BJW at December 5, 2006 3:32 PM

If a couple of hit by pitchs have caused him to miss 58, 27, 53, 27, 17, 90, and 16 games over 8 seasons, than the Sawx are getting even less than I thought.

To go along what BJW said -- Jacques Jones is the 5th best rf in the NL? oh dear. He's a platoon player at best, and the Cubs are trying to trade him for a sixer of old style and a cheeseburger in Orlando even as we speak.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at December 5, 2006 3:38 PM

Tee-hee. The Next Mickey Mantle is about to get a 5-year deal for $14-15M per, if stories are accurate, and the local Epsteinist is trying to convince us that it's a great deal. Never mind what those folks in St. Louis, Atlanta, & LA might say. I'll repeat what I said last week--just as folks in St. Louis were correct in warning that Renteria could not possibly succeed in Boston, there is zero chance that JD can do so. Zero.

Posted by: b at December 5, 2006 3:49 PM

It's just a four year deal and at a low rate of pay given the market--though he's not unlikely to slow down in that fourth year like any speedy white guy not doing 'roids. He's been an excellent offensive player in pitchers parks in the NL (career OPS over 900). He'll do quite well at Fenway in front of Ortiz.

Posted by: oj at December 5, 2006 4:02 PM

Drew is a head case. That dugout isn't big enough for him and Manny.

Posted by: curt at December 5, 2006 4:03 PM

Manny's gone. Drew's four years younger and will make far less, a vastly superior fielder and baserunner and replaces all but .06 of his OPS

Posted by: oj at December 5, 2006 4:10 PM

He plays on a semi-regular basis only about every other year, and 2007 is a rest year.

Posted by: curt at December 5, 2006 4:37 PM

Holy cow! Now not only is Drew "an excellent offensive player" but he's a complete replacement for Manny's production at the plate? That's just plain bonkers. Baseball fans are usually hilariously self-delusional in the off-season, but oj's now the all-time champ, surpassing my friend the cub fan...

Posted by: b at December 5, 2006 6:11 PM

Given their respective ages and different skill sets he's not unlikely to be more than a complete replacement, though I was only referring to OPS, which is what the Moneyball guys seek to replace.

Posted by: oj at December 5, 2006 6:13 PM

B: It is simple. It is the Lake Wobegon effect. All Red Sox players are great, those they acquire are all potential Hall of Famers who just had bad luck in their prior stops and all those leaving the Sox stink.

Posted by: Bob at December 5, 2006 7:02 PM

Heck, a Drew deal would stink if you'd be stuck with him past his mid-30s. & they're only getting him because Nixon never panned out and will get old very fast.

Posted by: oj at December 5, 2006 10:02 PM

I was right--it is a 5 year deal. This is right there with the recent Soriano deal for the worst contract in history. Rounding out the top five are probably Kevin Brown, Darren Dreifort, & Chan Ho Park, but the offseason is still young...

Posted by: b at December 5, 2006 11:21 PM

Nope, it's four. There's reportedly an option for a fifth that drops his pay depending on at-bats.

Soriano's deal is much longer and he's a low on-base guy--such tend to fall apart fast as they age. But Soriano looks like he could turn into a gifted outfielder. Still, you wouldn't want to be paying him when he's 39. The Sox won't be paying JD when he's 36.

Given how much less Drew is making than Soriano, Lee, etc., this could be the best deal of the winter. It's classic Moneyball. You acquire a guy whose OPS is phenomenal but who has "warts" that prevent other teams from understanding his true value.

He's an especially good upgrade over Trot Nixon and Johnny Damon.

They got Lugo too, who they should have acquired two years ago.

Posted by: oj at December 6, 2006 12:04 AM