Crawford Shakes Up Boston’s Outfield

A common complaint among baseball fans is that the teams with the highest payrolls will often sign the best free agents. The Boston Red Sox added some legitimacy to that notion after signing Carl Crawford to a seven-year, $142 million deal on Thursday. While every team can use Carl Crawford’s talents, it’s not as if Boston had a gaping hole at any of their outfield spots. With Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron returning from injury-plagued seasons, and J.D. Drew manning right field; this signing didn’t really fill a need for the Red Sox.

Despite that, it’s clear that Carl Crawford represents a large upgrade over each of the Red Sox outfield options. The Red Sox can only start three outfielders, however, and this move will likely shift a very useful outfielder to the bench.

Signed as a free agent last season, Mike Cameron’s first year as a Red Sox was riddled with injuries. Cameron was only able to amass 180 plate appearances, and posted a negative UZR for only the second time in his career. Typically known as an excellent defender, it’s unclear whether last year’s struggles were a result of his injuries or signs of aging. Age is certainly a concern with Cameron (he will be 38 next season), but based on his history it would be wise to give him another chance in center field before assuming he’s finished.

When healthy, J.D. Drew is a valuable commodity. For all the criticisms about his health, Drew has played in nearly 140 games every season since he signed with the Red Sox (140, 109, 137, 139). Much like Cameron, Drew also has a reputation as an above average fielder. Drew is set to earn $14 million next season, so it’s unlikely the Red Sox would make him a part time player while paying him so much money.

That leaves Jacoby Ellsbury, who also suffered through an injury-riddled 2010. Before last season, Ellsbury was viewed as the future of Boston’s outfield. With Crawford in the picture, it’s unclear what role Ellsbury will play in 2011. Due to his contract and age, Ellsbury could be an attractive trade chip. As there likely isn’t a market for Cameron or Drew, Ellsbury is the only outfielder the Red Sox can trade that would bring in a significant haul. Both Cameron and Drew will be free agents after the season, however, so the Red Sox may not want to part with a player who still has a role in the team’s future.

Should the Red Sox keep all four of their outfielders, it’s likely that they would all receive playing time. Due to their advanced ages, Cameron and Drew could benefit from a weekly off day. This would allow Terry Francona to insert Ellsbury into the lineup 2-3 times per week. Since Drew has a history of missing games, Ellsbury would be a great injury replacement option as well.

The Red Sox do have another option that Francona should consider, however. David Ortiz has struggled against left-handed pitching over his career, leading to a .222 batting average against LHP last season. Francona could choose to sit Ortiz against lefties in favor of starting one of his outfielders as the DH. This strategy also allows Francona to keep Cameron and Drew healthy as the season progresses.

While Crawford’s signing ultimately improves the Red Sox, it could also create some tension over playing time. Even though it will be difficult to fully satisfy each player involved, Francona has some interesting options when it comes to constructing his lineup. Considering all the players involved, it’s a good problem to have.




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Chris is a blogger for CBSSports.com. He has also contributed to Sports on Earth, the 2013 Hard Ball Times Baseball Annual, ESPN, FanGraphs and RotoGraphs. He tries to be funny on twitter @Chris_Cwik.


62 Responses to “Crawford Shakes Up Boston’s Outfield”

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  1. Tim says:

    Not really sure what you were getting at in the beginning of the article, but I like where it ended up. Nice piece.

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    • Chris Cwik says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      I was trying express that the Red Sox didn’t really need another outfielder, but because were still able to hand out a huge deal at that position. The rich get richer, etc. etc. I could have done a better job making that point though.

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      • Derek says:

        They did need an outfielder, just not this year, next year. Next year they would only had Jacoby signed and the top FA OFs would be Beltran and Cody Ross.

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      • Paul SF says:

        As Derek says, this was a move for 2012 and beyond, when the Sox would have a desperate need for two outfielders (with Drew and Cameron free agents) and only one likely in-house replacement available (Ryan Kalish).

        And is it truly a case of “the rich getting richer” if the team doesn’t spend any more on players in 2011 or 2012 than it did in 2010, even with these monster acquisitions?

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      • Baltimore Joe says:

        To me the problem more or less solves itself as soon as the first guy gets any hint of an injury, which is likely to happen soon. Since Drew, Cameron, and Ells all spent time on the DL last year, it seems more than prudent to have 4 and hope that you don’t get too much overlap with the injuries. Darnell McDonald did a fine job, but better to keep some top flight talent in there.

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      • Derek says:

        I know you wanted to write a “rich get richer” piece here. Unfortunately, there are some facts that need to be considered. As you say, both Drew and Cameron will leave following this season, so how is it that there was not a need? Do you believe it would have been wiser to pass on this all-star caliber player, available for no draft picks and wait until they were desperate? Which leads to my next point, the Sox are either going to trade Ellsbury or start him. Why would a team, with an impending void to fill in the outfield, retard the growth of an outfielder with center field capabilities whom already posts solid offensive numbers and the speed and ability to, with time, turn into a plus defender. It seems far more likely to me that Cameron is the odd man out and given that he is a righty bat, anticipate seeing him at the DH or Drews spot when the team faces tough lefties.

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      • pinetar says:

        Its still a case of the rich get richer because most MLB teams dont get to spend 142 million this year because they will have a need a year from now. How many other teams can afford this?

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      • B N says:

        @pinetar

        Teams who can afford to make such signings? Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Phillies, Tigers, Giants, Angels, Seattle, Cardinals

        In about that order. Cards could only make such signings if they didn’t already have two stars to deal with signing. Dodgers could also be added to this list, if their ownership situation wasn’t such a mess and they were bright enough to have cornered a YES/NESN type network. Giants will be in the market for a big deal like that once Zito’s weight is off their payrolls.

        So… a little over 1/4 the league, approximately, can hand out a deal like this and potentially see profit.

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      • fred says:

        BN – aren’t you demonstrating Pinetar’s point?

        3/4 (or more) of the teams could not afford to hand out a 7yr/142mil contract to fill a need a year from now. Heck well over 1/2 probably couldn’t afford to this even if they had an immediate need and open payroll.

        Also the teams you list who could afford this signing.. could all of them afford doing it a year early (which was pinetar’s point)? If say the Mariner think they can compete in 2013, they could hand out a 142mil contract before 2012 for a position that was filled in 2012, but opening up n 2013?

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      • mowill says:

        Seattle has never signed a top tier free agent. That includes guys who were with the Mariners the year before. They extend guys in the prior season or they sign guys from the second tier. That will never change. No open market rates for the upper brass cheapskates.

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      • Krog says:

        Seattle signed Adrian Beltre to a massive contract as a free agent.

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  2. Synovia says:

    Ellsbury is the starter. Cameron is the 4th outfielder. Cameron will probably replace Drew on days when they faces tough lefties.

    Ellsbury isnt going anywhere. They’re not going to trade him and go into next year with one outfielder on the roster.

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    • Erik says:

      I take it the supposed acrimony regarding the handling of his injury is overblown?

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    • Joe R says:

      Um, Ryan Kalish?
      He’ll be likely as productive than Ellsbury, if not more, by the end of 2011.
      Though yes, the Red Sox will likely keep him around, though I just want to trade him and stop giving Francona the temptation of leading him off.

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      • David Carter says:

        You apparently have a short memory regarding Ellsbury.

        In 2007, Ells came up late in the year, and had a .353 BA and 9 SB in 33 games. 2008, he hit .280, had 50 SB. In 2009, he hit .301 and had 70 SB.

        Last year’s injury was certainly not his doing. Look at his stats. He is a highly productive player. I like Kalish, but lets give him time to show his abilities.

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  3. Aaron says:

    Although Ortiz might not like it, I think a platooned DH is probably a good idea. He was strong against lefties for the middle of his career, posting wOBA’s of .380, .407, and .373, but in the last three years he’s been below league average when facing south paws. Last year his lefty/righty splits were humongous-177 RC+ against righties and 61 against lefties.

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  4. Will says:

    “Drew is set to earn $14 million next season, so it’s unlikely the Red Sox would make him a part time player while paying him so much money.”

    If Drew was not the best option available in RF, money should not be a factor that prevents the team from benching him. His contract is a sunk cost. The Red Sox will have to pay that salary regardless of whether he starts or sits, so they might as well field the best team possible. I think the Red Sox of all teams would understand that idea.

    With that said, Drew is the best and most consistent of the non-Crawford OF options, so he should be starting in right. It’s a battle between Cameron and Ellsbury over who plays center. I think Ellsbury is the answer going forward for the same reasons you cite, his age and favorable contract.

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    • Brent says:

      Ellsbury could be a player the Red Sox start a package around to get Greinke.

      He fits what it seems the Royals are looking for: Young, Outfielder with speed (most of there up and coming prospects are , SP, IF and Corner outfielders) and although he is in the bigs right now, he fits the timeframe of when they anticipate most of when most of their prospects will arrive. Could be something to think about.

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      • Synovia says:

        Yeah, except Grienke has said numerous times that he doesn’t want to play in a big market.

        Who plays CF next year if they trade Ellsbury? Kalish? If he does, who plays right?

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      • B N says:

        That would be a huge mistake for everyone involved. Greinke would not succeed in a high pressure place like Boston or NY. The Royals would be fools to take a package for Greinke that was centered around Ellsbury. Unless the Red Sox somehow fleeced the Royals and then traded Greinke to somewhere quiet for a profit, I doubt anybody could win such an arrangement.

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      • KyleL says:

        I don’t think that Ellsbury would interest the Royals very much. I would have to assume they would be looking for someone who is under team control longer and not about to enter their arbitration years.

        I also don’t think Greinke, as good as he is, would be a very good fit for the Red Sox. They already have 6 starters (7 if you count Doubront). So while Ellsbury could be a potential trade candidate I think there are other positions they would look to fill before getting another starter.

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      • EdwardM says:

        I keep hearing that Greinke doesn’t want to play in a large market but would consider approving a trade to the Jays – he needs to rethink his definition a “large market”. Toronto is a small baseball market in terms of coverage in the U.S. but as a media market it probably lags only NY and LA. 6 dailies, 3 Toronto based all-sports networks – all covering 1 team. The environment is ultra competitive and as Alex Rios and Hedo Turkoglu can attest, relentless with players who fall out of favour.

        If he’s looking to avoid having a phalanx of reporters at his locker after a bad outing then Toronto is probably not the place to go.

        Besides the media, he may also want to avoid playing 18 games against a team that has Ellsbury as its 4th OF.

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  5. Jim Lahey says:

    I think it should be Ellsbury in CF with Cameron serving as the 4th OF and CF when they’re facing lefties.

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  6. Paul says:

    Didn’t they make a mistake on your first article last week and call you Cwik Cwik? I thought maybe it was Carson’s nom de plume, like some sort of homage to “gangsta rap”. With all due respect, this is really disappointing.

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    • Paul says:

      But to your point, it could also be argued that while the rich get richer, the poor benefit by access to a better talent pool. Darnell McDonald, who will not come close to making this improved roster, just become available to a team that could easily give him 400 ABs. In other words, the Red Sox essentially gave the Royals $2.5 million, since that’s what they just spent on the same player. If only they’d been smart enough to take it.

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  7. The_Beard says:

    Drew hits righties, Cameron hits lefties. Done.

    Ells and Cameron were both hurt, and JD Drew is a lock to miss 25 games. You can sit Papi against tough lefties as was mentioned above. Not sure why having 4 OF’s would be a bad thing or a problem in any way. The way Boston’s OF went last year they feel good about having Kalish as a #5.

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    • GoGiants says:

      Forgot to mention Westmoreland also.

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      • Joe R says:

        The same Ryan Westmoreland that had brain surgery under a year ago?

        Mind me for being an ass about it, but I think the Red Sox should be making plans to not have Westmoreland starting in the OF for the Red Sox.

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      • divakar says:

        @Joe R

        agreed… the Sox should definitely be patient, having no immediate plans for westmoreland. 2011, 2012 and probably 2013 shouldn’t be on the map at all.

        That being said, he IS playing baseball again. It seems unbelievable, really. Such incredible feat that many of us are wondering “what exactly is this kid?”

        If Ryan Westmoreland makes the majors, it would be a tremendous accomplishment. At this point, despite his incredible progress, there is no way to know…

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      • JoeR43 says:

        Well I sure hope he makes it. Kid’s a very good player and obviously has way more determination than most 20 year olds do (hell I know kids who disappear for weeks over a breakup w/ a significant other).

        I’m being realistic, but it’ll be a good day if/when he makes it.

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  8. GoGiants says:

    The signing also adds a little security in the future. Assuming that Cameron is not resigned and Drew is either gone at the end of the season or given a 1-2 year deal, the Crawford signing ensures that the outfield will be stable even if Kalish or Reddick does not become a serviceable everyday player. If one of them is able to show that he can produce on a day-to-day basis, this outfield could be offensively potent for a long time.

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  9. pft says:

    “When healthy, J.D. Drew is a valuable commodity. For all the criticisms about his health, Drew has played in nearly 140 games every season since he signed with the Red Sox (140, 109, 137, 139). ”

    Sigh. You need to look at games started for Drew since he frequently gets to PH on his off days. He has never started 130 games for the Red Sox (avg 122), and has has started at least one game per week on the bench for 4 years (especially if a tough LHP’er is on the mound giving him a platoon advantage for his rate stats).

    Red Sox won 2 World series with a defensively challenged LF’er (Manny). Crawford is great, but he is wasted at Fenway.

    Jacoby lost his job in CF due to his noodle arm and bad jumps. His moving back to CF is hardly a plus, especially with damaged ribs which will likely inhibit his dives which compensated for his poor jumps.

    JD recorded the fewest assists among all regular RF’ers (1), and this assist did not come until September. He will be 35 next year.

    All 3 starting OF’ers are LHB’ers and none of them hit LHP’ers well (Crawford had a 696 OPS against LHP’er, JD was even lower and Jacoby also struggles-too lazy to look up).

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    • Paul SF says:

      No one has really explained how Crawford will be “wasted” at Fenway. Why can’t he just play shallower and cheat toward the gap, thus catching balls that otherwise would drop in or fall in the gap with a less speedy outfielder?

      Apparently, you were also too lazy to notice that Drew had an OPS above .800 and .900 against lefties in 2008-09 before seeing a huge BABIP regression against them in 2010. I guess we shouldn’t expect any better from the person banned from SOSH for continuously citing RBI as a reason why Drew is not a good hitter.

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      • KyleL says:

        While I’m not about to put any money on it, I also wouldn’t be very surprised if after Drew leaves next year Crawford is moved to right and Kalish plays in left. While Kalish certainly has a better arm Crawfords speed would be of much more use in right.

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      • Synovia says:

        Crawford probably isn’t any faster than Kalish.

        Kalish (bouncing from AA to AAA to MLB ) stole 50 bases on 56 attempts in 2010.

        He’s 86/101 for his career. He’s fast. He’s a center fielder with a cannon, which makes him perfect for Fenway’s right.

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      • fred says:

        Shallower than what? So he can take grounders at short between innings?

        And I don’t get the cheat the gap theory. Unless they change the distance between bases or draw the foul line wrong, the required left to right range is no different that any other stadium. Unless you are worried about triples into the LF corner (which would be marginally tougher in Fenway sine the fence is closer) the distance to the OF wall shouldn’t impact where you play in terms of line vs gap.

        What would help in terms of having a LF with range – the CF could probably cheat a little more toward right; which is helpful in that park.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        While I am not the one that made the “shallow” comment (I don;t agree with that one), I have made the “shading” arguement. Here’s what I mean …

        [1] Most teams are full of RHBs.
        [2] RHBs generally pull more than they hit oppo.
        [3] With a speedy CF, the CF can shade toward the CF-LF gap, which allows ….
        [4] … the LF to shade down the line.
        [5] Carwford is left-handed which gives him a gloveside advantage on “taking away the line”.

        I’m not talking about him playing “deep short”, I am talking him shading the line. Combine that positioning with the green monster, and BOS may literally have a “no doubles” LF.

        But, I don’t see where he is relegated to LF due to arm strength. If CF were relegated for guys that were both [1] fast, and [2] strong, accurate armed, how many current CF’s would qualify? Not many. His range more than makes up for his arm. My guess is that his range will take away or limit more bases than his arm allows.

        There are defensive programs that measure batted ball trajectory and velocity to figure out how long the ball is in the air, how long it takes each fielder to get to it, and how many guys could have likely made the catch.

        My contention is simply to put CC in whatever position that he gets to the most balls. That’s where you want your OF with the most range.

        BOS has a good problem to have … alot of OF range and trying to figure out how to best utilize it. Much more preferable than the opposite situation … a bunch of Incaviglia’s running around out there.

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      • mowill says:

        No double except for the lazy fly balls that would be outs everywhere else bouncing off the monster.

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  10. Mike says:

    The Red Sox had no intent to start Mike Cameron this year, so in their minds, and the minds of the Red Sox fans, they had a gaping whole in the outfield. We will see Cameron riding the bench, not Ellsbury. Cameron might get starts at DH against lefties, or in Right against Lefties, but there is no way Cameron is not more than a 4th outfielder/platoon this year in Boston.

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  11. Sam says:

    Ellsbury is going to be the starting CF with Cameron on the bench to start 2011. Everyone (not necessarily this posting but other threads) keeps talking about “when Kalish is ready”…but seriously, what about “if Kalish is ever ready to be an everyday MLB player?” I’m all for the kid being the starting RF in 2012 if he can hack it but in a small sample size in the majors he has put up Jeff Francoeur numbers. Start CC, Jacoby and JD with Cameron on the bench and put Cameron in when they face a tough lefty, playing for Drew or Ortiz (seriously can’t hit lefty pitching either anymore and he’s a DH – that’ll keep Cam healthy too). Can’t sit all the lefty’s.

    In any event, this move is no doubt a move for the future as well as the present.

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    • KyleL says:

      It’s true what you said about “if” Kalish is ready, but I think in the Red Sox’ mind the starting role is his to lose rather than him having to win a spot in ’12.

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  12. Kyle says:

    How did the Red Sox not need an outfielder with exceptional speed, and who can play any of the 3 outfield spots? Last season, the Red Sox were devastated by injuries. Ellsbury missed 144 games, Drew missed his typical 23 games while hitting only .255, and Mike Cameron’s defense has slipped the past two years. His last 3 seasons he’s missed on average 56 games because of age, using amphetamines and injury. Since he’s had a few concussions, and is allowed to use amphetamines NOW should a team count on him being a full-time starter at 38 years of age?

    Since he is almost 38(few players are good enough to remain being elite defensive centerfielders at such an advanced age), and his stolen bases in the past 3 seasons have gone from a solid 17 in 120 games to 7 in 141 games to 0 in 48 games. Notice a trend? Do you think this might be part of the reason his defensive numbers were horrendous last season? Since Drew is a great right fielder and Crawford is great in left field… with a healthy Ellsbury the range they cover will be sick. This also forces the Yankees to sign yet another player with a horrible contract. Signing Lee at age 32 with only 3 great seasons and 1 solid season in all these years and a somewhat injury prone career(not to mention that the Giants owned the so-called most clutch pitcher in postseason history)is hilariously retarded for the money they’ll offer him. A 7 year deal for 140-175 million or whatever it will be for a 32 year old pitcher who doesn’t have an overpowering fastball is retarded.

    So now the Red Sox have a younger, faster team while overall(as long as Pedroia and Ellsbury)could be better defensively.

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    • NEPP says:

      Crawford’s speed might allow him to spot start in CF or RF but his arm doesnt. He cannot “play all 3 spots”. Why else do you think he’s pretty much only ever played LF (with just a handful of innings in CF and none at all in RF). There’s more to defense than just being fast.

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  13. Carts13 says:

    Bizarre suggestion that Ellsbury plats 2-3 times a week. Cameron is 4th outfielder but I expect him to be a very important player fir Six this year filling in at all 3 OF spots (mainly for Drew, a bit less for Ells) and also playing some Dh. I expect DMac to get a bench spot as well. Kalish plays RF in 2012 which means a righty bench bat is a must next offseason

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  14. dwightford420 says:

    How do you get a negative fielding percentage?

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  15. James says:

    Don’t know if Drew has a no-trade clause, but I would think there is a good market for him for $14 in a walk year (also I’m assuming he’s going to be classified at Type A) – he might be the most movable of the other 3. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was moved.

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    • Rico Petrocelli says:

      Ken Belson wrote last week in the NY Times about ” The Red Sox still have the disappointing J. D. Drew ($14 million) for one more year”

      Drew has performed.

      Concentrate on Drew’s walk totals, on his on-base percentage, on his slugging, on his baserunning, on his defense. He is not making outs. He reaches base better than almost anyone.

      Just 10 players had an OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of .900 or greater in 2008 and ’09: Pujols, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Lance Berkman, Mark Teixeira, Kevin Youkilis, Hanley Ramirez, Matt Holliday, Chase Utley – and Drew.

      Over the three seasons since he signed with Boston, Drew got on base at a .390 clip. That stands as fourth-best among outfielders in baseball in that span, behind only Manny Ramirez (.412), Holliday (.403), Magglio Ordonez (.397), and tied with Adam Dunn.

      In fact, his OBP rises with men on base, from .388 to .397.

      In 2006 instead of signing Drew, Sox could have chosen Alfonso Soriano ($136 million, eight years), Carlos Lee ($100 million, six years), Gary Matthews Jr. ($50 million, five years), or Juan Pierre ($44 million, five years).

      In the three years since those deals were signed, Soriano has earned $33.4 million (8.0 wins above replacement player), while being paid $41 million. Lee has earned $40 million (9.2 WAR), while being paid $43 million. Matthews has earned -$5.2 million (-1.1 WAR), while being paid $26.2 million. Pierre has earned $15.4 million (3.6 WAR), while being paid $25.5 million.

      Drew has earned $45.4 million (10.3 WAR) in Boston, while being paid $42 million.

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  16. Adam says:

    It is highly probably that Ellsbury, Drew, and Cameron combine to miss 162 games….4 outfielders does not create a log jam in my opinion. We can always DH Cameron against Lefties, which he has a .900+ OPS against.

    PLUS, Drew is on his way out next year, and who knows what the market is holding next year for outfielders….Good move all the way around.

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  17. gradygradychase says:

    Here is FanGraphs.
    Why not use wOBA instead of batting average?

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  18. nolanryan says:

    How about trading Cameron and Drew for Jason Bay?

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  19. JGH says:

    You are forgetting something very important here Chris—Cameron and Drew are both FA next year. So they will only have Ellsbury and CC under contract (and Kalish). Next years FA OF class is pretty weak, headlined by Beltran, Willingham, and Drew. If we trade Ellsbury, we would only have CC under contract for next year. Theo will not be trading any of these OF—and if one gets injured, which will happen, the amount of time unknown, they will have a reliable backup with Cameron. Also, since this is a LH heavy ineup, we could easily pinch hit Papi, or Drew for Cameron.

    I fully expect our 2012 OF to be CC/Ells/Kalish—so we will be keeping put with the OF that we have.

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  20. tonysoprano says:

    I tend to think the Red Sox would just trade for a third outfielder next year if Drew and Cameron leave and no one is ready from the minors. I think it kind of ties into the theme of the article that Boston has the means to get good players whether they really need them or not.

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    • fred says:

      Exactly… people keep focusing only on a weak 2012 FA OF class…

      If they had not gone after Crawford and there was an opening in 2012, why wouldn’t a GM with the means of Boston also be looking instead at the 2013 (or even 2014) FA class and trading with teams that might be looking to get something back knowing they can’t afford the guy? (at that point Doubront should be hyped up enough) Or they could look at a team with a contract they just want to get off their books and are willing to dump for pennies on the dollar.

      People are painting this as though there would have been no options in 2012 had they not signed Crawford and therefor it was a “need”… that’s only true if you limit yourself to 2012 FA options.

      This was a luxury and about getting a good ballplayer that improves the club – but this signing was not need based.

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      • mowill says:

        Remember two or three days before Crawford signed MLBTV had a whole segment on him possibly having to take a one year deal. Those guys should be picking stocks or horses or something, with that sort of prescience.

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  21. MLBTR SUcks says:

    So you think Jacoby Ellsbury should be a 4th outfielder? This article is awful.

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  22. baseballz40 says:

    How are people so down on Jacoby? He’s 27 and stole 70 bags while hitting .300 and driving in 60runs from the leadoff just a season ago. he broke his ribs not his knee caps and since that was Beltre’s fault, why are ppl describing him as injury prone?

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    • David Carter says:

      I totally agree. Why are people so down on Ellsbury? If he had an AVERAGE (for him, based on his record so far) he would be touted as one of the Sox best players for many years into the future.

      And, as the above post mentions, he’s just 27. Lots of great baseball left in Ells. Let’s don’t even thing about having him play elsewhere.

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  23. MV says:

    Cameron = very useful outfielder ?

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  24. bsomberg says:

    For better or worse, it’s hard to see Ells not start as long as he’s healthy.

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  25. Larpstathead says:

    I say lose Cameron, and put Ryan Kalish in Boston as the backup player, since it’s pretty clear he has a future in Boston’s Outfield, especially when J.D. Drew leaves after 2011. I honestly see him a a .290-25 hitter with solid defense. Him, along with Ellsbury and Crawford, are a true threat in every way an Outfield can be. If they are really ambitious, the Red Sox could trade J.D. Drew before the season starts and get some good prospects, as well as save some cash. I have no worries about depth in the outfield.

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