The Red Sox agreed in principle with J. D. Drew on a 5 year $70 million contract, thus paying a guy who has played two injury free seasons and whose desire was publicly questioned by Tony LaRussa as if he is an elite player.
Those two seasons he managed to stay healthy were years he could split as a free agent, a remarkable coincidence.
To the surprise of exactly nobody save for the Red Sox front office, it turns out he has health issues which may derail the contract.
I offer Theo Epstein and Drew's agent Scott Boras my solution:
J. D. plays best when he knows there is some big cash coming. I know every player does, but who else sits it out as often as he does when he has guaranteed dough on the way.
So why not sign him to a contract that perfectly fits that mentality and also could help him be loved at Fenway at the same time.
He needs a contract with incentives in order to get that $14 mil a year. And I am not talking about normal year end incentives.
The Red Sox need to reward J. D. Drew every time he does something positive every single game. Sometimes several times a game.
The Red Sox need to treat J. D. Drew like he is a seal. Give him a reward for doing the tricks right. And maybe even have an accountant in the dug out to show him how far along he is to getting the $14 mil.
Here's how I figured it out:
Start with the $300,000 base league minimum salary. That much is in the can.
Then pay him:
$80,000 per homer. $25,000 per run batted in $20,000 for every hit. $20,000 for every walk (because a walk is as good as a hit.) $2,500 for every point on his slugging percentage. $2,500 for every point on his on base percentage, And a $2 million penalty for going on the DL.
If he just matches his numbers from last year, that gets him $11,207,500.00
He does better, he gets more dough.
But there is more. He's going to have to win over the fans at Fenway and piling up numbers won't do that. Just ask Wade Boggs.
So some added Fenway incentives must be added.
$400 for each autograph signed before a game. (25 a game gets him $1.62 million)
$1,000 for each funny handshake he invents. Red Sox fans for some reason love that. (One for each player nets him $25,000)
$700 for every time he talks about a former Red Sox with great reverence. (Once a game gives him $113,400)
$500 for every time he waves his arms up and down to get the crowd into it. (Twice a game gives him $81,000)
$100 for each inning he runs hard to his position, pointing to the stands during home games. (Every inning gives him $145,800)
$100 for each inning he runs BACK to the dugout, always giving the guy who made the last out a fist pump. (Another $145,800.)
$3,000 For each clever nicknames he gives to his teammates and clubhouse crew. (30 will net him $90,000)
$5,000 for each time he calls WEEI to talk sports. (4 times a month including spring training gets him $180,000)
$400 for each time he is the first person on the dugout steps to congratulate a guy hitting a home run. (170 homers would get him $68,000)
$200 for each quotable quip given to Globe, NESN and Herald reporters. (5 a day brings in $162,000)
$3,000 each time he "conducts" the right field stands during "Sweet Caroline." (Doing it each game gets him $243,000)
$500 every time he calls Derek Jeter an overrated A-Hole. (Before each Red Sox Yankee game nets him $9,500.)
And finally $10,000 for each time he throws Don Zimmer to the ground. (At least once a month brings in $243,000)
He fulfills all of his incentives, he will get his $14,161,000, the Red Sox will get some good production and the fans will have a new favorite.