There's a lot of talk on our internal message board expressing disapproval of the Red Sox's deal with J.D. Drew, especially in comparison to the cheaper deal Johnny Damon signed last year. Without delving into the differences in the market between last year and this year (a pretty strong point in its own right), I think this signing is defensible, even in comparison to Damon's deal.
I think he was the best remaining player on the market, and when healthy, arguably more valuable than Carlos Lee. Yes, health is the rub, but he regularly posts an on-base percentage around .400, and he plays excellent defense. Yes, the power dropped off this year, in part due to his wrist injury, but even still, he had essentially the same OPS as Lee, in a far worse ballpark. He's also just six months older than Lee. I'll be quick to acknowledge that Damon had a great year and ultimately looks to be a good signing, but even now he's two years older than Drew. I think there's a pretty good chance that Drew outproduces Damon in years 2007-2009.