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How 'minor' is Drew snag?

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  December 18, 2006 11:59 AM

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The Red Sox continue to call the recent hang-up in finalizing the J.D. Drew deal "minor" and an issue they expect to clear up with agent Scott Boras soon.

But according to respected Baseball Prospectus medical writer Will Carroll, sources said that Drew has problems in his shoulder that “could shut down his power.”

Carroll wrote:

"Drew had minor surgery on his shoulder after the 2005 season, so it’s possible that there’s more damage in there. It’s important to note that in free agent acquisitions, a team often does not have the benefit of requesting medical records from his previous team prior to signing. Speculation centers on the damage to Drew’s shoulder being more like Scott Rolen circa 2005."

This is consistent with information the Globe has received.

Both sides are doing their due diligence on the matter. A major league source told the Globe that Drew was scheduled to have a second opinion, but there's been no word on whether he went through with it or if it's simply now a matter of Boras believing the Red Sox’ findings.

The Red Sox would like to change the guarantees/incentives in the deal to protect them in case Drew's power is adversely affected. Boras would like to have a doctor say there's minimal or no real concern about the weakened shoulder.

The Sox had reached a 5-year, $70 million deal with Boras and Drew at baseball's winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. pending a physical. Drew's medical records were also scoured by the Sox medical staff and Drew then came to Boston, where he had a series of tests to go over a series of maladies he's had over the years, including patellar tendinitis in his knee, the shoulder injury, and back, hamstring, and wrist injuries.

The last thing the Red Sox want is for Drew not to be able to drive the ball at some point in the contract. The Red Sox have gone through a reduction in power from Trot Nixon the past few years. In Drew, they believe they have a player who can drive the ball to the opposite field and hit the wall while providing thump in the No. 5 spot in the order.

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