Anyway, I see three ways to look at this deal:
By itself, this is yet another of Lehr's "Drunken Sailor" deals. Theo Epstein's still getting a free pass, but he has an insufferable propensity for high-risk, mediocre-return gambles. He's about to pay $48 million to gamble that we could acquire... a decent outfielder who has some gap power. Wow.
I see this as another Edgar Renteria/Matt Clement genre of bad deals... the Sox flexing their wallets for no reason other than because they can, and fixating on the David Ortiz-level outcome... "what if he breaks through?" You can't look at all your deals that way. In the best possible scenario, J.D. Drew is an ideal #5 hitter to complement Manny and Papi, he's a good OPS guy, and he's someone who would probably post some silly numbers by knocking line drives off the Moanstah. The more likely scenario, however, is a Chris Webber-ish outcome, where he's okay for four years, but not enough to justify the salary.
Also, let's not forget that the Drew money would be much better spent on a certain starting pitcher two winters ago, or a certain center fielder and leadoff hitter last winter.
In short, the thought of Drew patrolling our disabled list for the next four years, with his various and sundry injuries (chipped molar, strained earlobe, paper cut, HPV), makes me want to cut out my eyes and my balls, and put my eyes in my nutsack and my balls in my eye-holes.
However, I have reason to believe there's more going on than just a hideously awful signing. Something just doesn't jive here. The Sox have lusted after Drew for quite a while now, but the deal is blatantly counter to what the Sox' game plan has been of late... don't offer long-term deals to veterans... when there's a history/risk of injury... period. Renteria and Clement met those criteria; Drew meets neither. So why him?
My pet theory right now is that the proposed Drew contract is a side effect of the Matsuzaka negotiations. Something tells me that Scott Boras has informally packaged the two of them together. Pass on one, and you get neither. It's not so outlandish; remember, as any Phillie fan will tell you, both Boras and Drew are Hall-of-Fame hardballers. If anyone's capable of pulling off a "gentlemen's agreement" of this kind, it's Boras. I'd much rather believe the "package deal" story than believe the Sox are legitimately interested in having J.D. Drew on the roster at that price.
Unfortunately, I'd much rather believe that than the obvious...
CHEAP REPLACEMENT FOR MANNY
Great. Cheap replacement, eh? Kinda like how Coco Crisp was gonna be a cheap replacement for Johnny Damon? Yeah, I was just thinking about how nothing about that decision backfired at all. Ugh. In fact, how many of their personnel moves since the Series have worked out? I can count them on one hand... breaking the bank for Matsuzaka-san and not trading Manny. They're about to undo one of those two, and the other isn't exactly a lock to happen. In short, I have zero faith in this front office right now to do the right thing.
I guess my personal philosophy is just so different from theirs. I say that if you're gonna pay big bucks for something, do it right... shell out for the absolute best. Don't settle. The Red Sox, however, appear to have an organizational mandate to do the exact opposite: overpaying for mediocrity, on the grounds that a) it's cheaper than paying for the real thing, and b) there's a chance that maybe, possibly, in theory, one of their expensive pieces of shit will become another David Ortiz... in which case it's not overpaying anymore. Bra-vo! They're now taking cues on how to run the franchise from the losers who dump their paychecks into the slot machines at Foxwoods! Hey, if they got lucky once, it could happen again! Take a chance, make it hap-pen...
I really have to stop getting pissed off about stuff that I don't have control over...