$10 million for Drew or $10 million for a middle of the order outfield bat is an inaccurate choice. It's $10 million for Drew or $10 million AND PROSPECTS for a middle of the order outfield bat. Would you rather mortgage the future for a stopgap solution, or just pay $10 million alone? I say pay the $10 million alone. If the Red Sox find themselves in contention come the deadline, it's also not an either/or proposition. Henry has shown a willingness to spend money, even if it means exceeding the luxury tax threshhold. In short, by no means does this move really inhibit the Red Sox in any significant way.
If we waited until the deadline, $10M actually buys about $30M in annual salary, since the prorated portion of $30M for 1/3 left to the season is what we paid Drew for about 4 months on borderline impact contributions to the team.
Yes, we may have had to part with a prospect or two, which may or may not have had to be significant. Often times, teams that are out of the playoff hunt just about give away high contract players who will be free agents after the season.
Here are just a few recent transaction for OF'ers at the trade deadline:
A. Soriano and cash for Corey Black
Victorino for Josh Lindblom, Ethan Martin and Stefan Jarrin
Pence for Tommy Joseph, Seth Rosen & N Scierholtz
Bourn for Juan Abreu, Paul Clemens, B Oberholtzer & J Schafer
Carlos Beltran for Zack Wheeler
(Not really a salary dump pick-up- more the reverse) Colby Rasmus (with Trevor Miller, B Tallet & PJ Walters for O Dotel, Edwin Jackson & M Rzepczynski
Pence for Jon Singleton, Jared Cosa Zeid & Domingo Santana
Some of these deals did give up significant talent- some, no so much.
The Cubs paid $14M of what Soriano was owed, leaving just $5M for the Yanks to pay in 2013.
Yes, I'd rather have last year's Soriano for $5M and 2 months than Drew for $10M and 4 months. Use the other $5M to find a cheap defensive SS and/or capable 4th SP.