Dodgers get lucky on Drew

Just when it looked like the Dodgers would be stuck with three more years of right fielder J.D. Drew at $11 million per, the lackadaisical one has decided to try his luck in the free agent market. He exercised the opt-out clause written into his deal two years ago and became a free agent. The Dodgers don't have a ready replacement for right field, but I suspect they aren't weeping. Drew had a good year, OPSing 891 and managing to play in a career-best 146 games, but he's not the difference maker that some expected. His 31-homer season in Atlanta in 2004 looks more and more like a fluke. He's only broken 20 one other time. He also was maddeningly unaggressive and, by most accounts, unwilling to play hurt. At 31 he didn't figure to get better. Use the $33 million and the positional flexibility to get a gamer or two who bring more stick to the plate.

Add Drew: Josh Rawitch posts that he and most of the Dodgers front office were surprised, especially since Drew told the Register's Bill Plunkett in September that he had no intention of leaving.

"Ultimately it’s my decision, and we’re happy where we’re at. We love our house in Pasadena. My wife is happy. She’s made a lot of friends in our neighborhood and with the other players’ wives. That’s really the thing that was nerve-wracking about it (free agency) for me.

“At some point, you make those commitments and you stick to them.”

Ken Gurnick reports at MLB.com that Drew's agent, Scott Boras, now wants to negotiate with the Dodgers. But GM Ned Colletti, "clearly annoyed," said it's time to turn the page. "He moved on and we'll move on. We'll find a player who wants to stay here."

Quip of the day: "I know J.D. is a spiritual guy and a man of his word. I guess he changed his word." — Colletti

November 9, 2006 6:22 PM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor
 

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