JD Drew is having a bad season. Chalk that one up under Captain Obvious' playbook.
In year five of a $70 million contract, Drew is proving all the right people among Boston's leadership wrong with a .646 OPS. Optimistically, the Red Sox saw Drew getting the bulk of the starts in RF from the beginning of spring training. Now, halfway through July, we've seen that role shift to a straight platoon, and now Drew sits occasionally against even right-handed pitching.
The prospect of releasing Drew is not the boondoggle it would be for a prime free agent candidate. He won't be offered a contract by the team, which eliminates the possibility of draft pick compensation if he signed elsewhere. Drew has hinted at retirement more than once, and he is owed no money after 2011. The one question remaining then is if Boston is willing to pay Drew not to play (or play somewhere else).
The $6 million still due Drew for the rest of the season is a tough pill to swallow, even for the likes of Theo & Co. But the damage of this contract was done years ago, and at this point, the Red Sox would be best served finding a solution that helps them win now.