The nervous members of Red Sox Nation (you know who you are...) can finally stop whining about how the J.D. Drew deal wasn't finalized. Today the Boston Red Sox and J.D. Drew came to terms and have finally hammered down the language barriers that were halting the deal.
In short the Sox have insurance on the last two years of his five year contract. If Drew has shoulder problems that sideline him for a prolonged period of time the Sox have the ability to opt out of the contract. If something happens in the first three years, well, the Red Sox and their fans are SOL.
While long term effects of Drew's shoulder are a concern of mine, his ability to play the game are not. J.D. will have two of the greatest hitters of our generation hitting in front of him, and I see no reason whatsoever why he shouldn't have an absolute breakout season. J.D. seems pretty excited about playing in a baseball city such as Boston too. Boston.com has a great summary of the conference call that was had today, and among other things, Drew had the following to say:
"When you play the game of baseball, you play in front of passionate people. I really enjoyed Atlanta, but sometimes the fanbase... when we played the Red Sox, it was 70 percent Red Sox fans and 30 percent Braves fans. The stadium’s not sold out in the playoffs… we understand the media attention [in Boston] … my family and I are going to enjoy Fenway."
I'm seriously excited to see him start playing, and instead of fussing and worrying about what may happen in a negative way, I'm going to play the underused role of the optimist in Boston, and will expect J.D. to be a pivotal piece in another World Series title in Beantown. Spring Training can't come any sooner.