Thursday, November 16, 2006

That Fragile, Selfish All-Star

J.D. Drew is perhaps the most controversial player on this year's free agent market. He is also perhaps the best player on this year's free agent market, and the White Sox should make every effort to acquire him. Ever since he refused to sign with Philadelphia, Drew has been viewed as something of a troublemaker. Furthermore, since 1999, he's essentially alternated injury-shortened seasons with seasons free of any major injury. Thus, he has a reputation as being somewhat fragile.

But he's also very, very good. This year, while playing 146 games, Drew had a .393 on-base percentage and hit 20 home runs. He also played an outstanding right field. There's no question he could translate that success to the other corner, and limited exposure in center over Drew's career has suggested that he could play a league-average center field as well.

In other words, this is a player that could replace Brian Anderson or Scott Podsednik, depending on who else the Sox acquire. He could bat first, second, third, or sixth in the line-up. Last year he was worth 7.3 runs wins above a replacement level player (WARP). Podsednik had a WARP of 1.1. Even with his superb defense, Anderson's WARP was only 2.1. In other words, replace Podsednik at the top of the order, and in left field, with Drew, and you could reasonably expect the Sox to win 95 games or so (they played like an 89 win team this year as is). Ninety-five wins puts the White Sox in the playoffs.

Not only would making the playoffs be great for fans, its a financial windfall for a team. Not only are the playoff games worth money, but they mean more television and ticket revenue for seasons to come. So, financially, it makes sense for the Sox to invest a lot of money in a player who could put them over the hump and into the playoffs. And, Drew is just that guy. Given that Drew turned down 3 years, $33 million with the Dodgers, he figures to cost more than $11 million a year. But for a contender, especially one with a hole in the outfield, he could easily be worth that much as well.

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Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

Well, if Scott Boras is involved, KW will more likely than not be running fast in the opposite direction.

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Vanilla Concentrate said...

The White Sox will never sign J.D. Drew. You underestimate the power (pun intended, just wait for it) of both the Duracell and Energizer corporations. They stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue if Drew were to move to the AL and lose road trips to Philadelphia, where his presence causes a 5000% spike in D-cell battery sales.

I need not even mention the negative effect that this would have on the youth of Philadelphia, where the school disctricts teach their students to throw by taking them to the various professional sports stadiums (both major and minor leagues)with cases of D-cell batteries.

Damn you, evil battery manufacturers and local Philadelphia physcial education teachers!

4:03 PM  
Blogger Jeeves said...

I would love to have JD, but I fear that KW is going to heed ozzie's wishes of getting someone who can steal bases and "set the table" at the top of the lineup

9:24 PM  

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