What do they have in common? They both make a lot of money, and both have provided very little production (maybe that’s a bit of an understatement.) Lackey has surpassed Yankee Aj Burnett as the worst pitching contract in the AL East and maybe all of baseball. Certainly personal issues have to be somewhat responsible for Lackey’s disaster of a season; Lackey’s wife has been battling breast cancer. And while I sympathize with the very serious and very scary reality of his personal life, he and his 7.36 ERA has become a major liability in the rotation.
JD Drew, who has gotten a ton of unfair criticism in Red Sox career, has been completely deserving of that criticism this year. A nice little stat pulled up by WEEI’s Alex Spier, the Red Sox have the worst team average, OBP, and slugging in the entire american league out of the right field position. Is JD Drew a plus defender, yes, but he’s no Willie Mays in the outfield, and he needs to be in order to justify his offensive woeful offensive output.
Now I’ve never believed this front office/ manager played/kept players just because of there salaries. A highschool economics student could explain to you the basic principles of sunk costs, and the Red Sox have been willing to admit their mistakes by trading away two big contracts while taking on part of their salaries. (See Renteria, Edgar. Lugo, Julio) This is what they need to do in the case of JD Drew…Not that I’m delusional enough another team would possible trade for him, but when Josh Reddick provides maybe not a spectacular (Don’t let the .414 fool you, the guy hit .230 at AAA), but at least viable alternative, he needs more playing time. Lots, not just against lefties, but against righties too. The Lackey case is a little more difficult however. Miller would provide value in the bullpen, and would be to the Red Sox long term benefit if they can right Lackey and hope to salvage a solid pitcher in his next 3 years (ugh). I just hope that they are wary that doing so could also be the possible difference in a division title, or a wild card birth