On Tuesday from the General Manager Meetings in Orlando, FL, Boston Red Sox GM Theo Epstein announced the Red Sox have signed J.D Drew to a 5 yr $70 million dollar contract. The contract will become official one Drew passes a physical.
Also its being reported that the Red Sox have signed former Devil Ray and Dodgers shortstop, Julio Lugo, to a 4 yr $36 million dollar contract.
These two signings are key for the Red Sox. J.D. Drew provides the Sox with another big bat who can protect Manny and Big Papi in the lineup. That statement being made if the Sox don’t trade Manny. If the Sox do trade Manny, he still gives them a big bat if he can stay healthy. Drew also is an excellent defensive fielder. He is basically a center fielder in right field. He may have a little trouble adjusting to the big right field in Fenway but once he adapts I think he will be fine. I also think if he stays healthy, his bat will help the Sox out. Last season, he hit 20 hrs and drove in a team high 100 runs.
Julio Lugo marks the 4th different shortstop to play for the Sox since they traded away Nomar Garciaparra during the 2004 season. His defense is not as good as Alex Gonzalez’s or Edgar Renteria’s but he has a good bat something which the Red Sox haven’t had since Garciaparra. The Sox have been interested in Lugo for the past year and finally have gotten their man.
So right now this is what the lineup looks like:
- Julio Lugo SS
- Coco Crisp CF
- David Ortiz DH
- Manny Ramirez LF
- J.D. Drew RF
- Jason Varitek C
- Kevin Youkilis 1B
- Mike Lowell 3B
- Dustin Pedroia 2B
A lot more projected power in the lineup next year. The key to this lineup though is still Manny. With Manny in the lineup and J.D. Drew batting behind him, opposing pitchers will have to pitch to Big Papi.
Now, we need to find a closer. Kudos to Theo Epstein for picking up two quality free agents. The Red Sox still have over 9 days to sign Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka as well.