J.D. Drew Enters Free Agent Market

Here’s a name I left off my Top 50: J.D. DrewDrew opted out of the three years and $33 million left on his Dodgers contract. 

Back in the winter of ’04, Drew was one of the bigger free agent names out there.  He was coming off a 1.005 OPS for the Braves and received some MVP votes.  The Tigers were believed to have made a four-year, $36MM offer to Drew in December of 2004, but ultimately Paul DePodesta got his "cornerstone."

Drew is quite skilled at getting on base, though he’s still a strong injury risk.  He’s an excellent defensive right fielder and wouldn’t hurt you in center.  If I were to place him into the Top 50, he’d be among the top ten.  I would expect Scott Boras to wait at least a month to let the market develop.

Teams in need of a right fielder: Red Sox, Rangers, Pirates, Giants.  Don’t count out the Pirates here.  Teams in need of a center fielder: Red Sox (maybe), White Sox (but forget it because of Boras), Angels (maybe), Rangers, Cubs, Giants (maybe), and Rockies.

In speaking to a "baseball source," Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times mentions the Red Sox, Cubs, White Sox, Indians, Astros, and Rangers as suitors.

Strong rumors with the Red Sox will probably be right around the corner, but I could see legitimate competition from Texas.  I see the Pirates as an intriguing dark horse.  I’ll have to ask my Pirates guy to see if there’s any real chance.

UPDATE: Sorry to disappoint, Pirates fans.  But I asked Jake of Bucco Blog about this possibility and he said there’s "zero chance."  While there is a connection with Jim Tracy, Dave Littlefield has had contentious dealings with Boras with players like Oliver Perez and Bobby Hill.   

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