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One Less Tie To The DePodesta Era

After working most of the night on a project, I was exhausted after a day of class. One power nap later, I went off to go get some food. Flipping through the radio, I caught this little conversation from a caller on 570:

"I've always said, the Dodgers can't be successful until they get rid of Jose Cruz Jr, Odalis Perez, who I call "Overdose Perez", and now they got rid of J.D. Drew". After that, the host came back on, and two things went through my mind: "Wait, Joe McDonnell is back on the radio?" follow by "Holy crap, J.D. Drew opted out".

First off, unlike what seemed to be the common line of thought for the Big Nasty and his listeners, this isn't good bye J.D., hello championship. Drew was the Dodgers best hitter by a fairly good margin, and one of the few guys in baseball who you could pencil in for close to a .400 on base percentage. He was also the only outfielder in the Dodger organization that could play strong defense. Replacing Drew on the open market with anyone but himself would be impossible.

I'm still torn about how to feel about this. If Drew is healthy, he's a bargain. A healthy J.D. Drew is one of the best players in baseball. Then again, there's the "if he's healthy" part. At this point I think the Dodgers should just be happy that Drew pretty much lived up to his contract, and they get what will probably be his most productive seasons. If Drew was the only person to worry about here, I'd probably be happy. The problem that arises is that Ned Colletti now has to replace Drew, and the moves he'll make to do that leave me concerned. The scariest scenario is that Alfonso Soriano will wind up as a Dodger, but anyway the Dodgers to replace Drew's production it will certainly cost them more than 33 million dollars over three years.

I can understand why Drew would do this. In a market where the two most valued hitters are Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Lee, and most of the remaining valuable hitters are almost in their forties, it looks like he'll get more than the 33 million dollars that the Dodgers guaranteed to him. I am annoyed that J.D. made all those comments about wanting to stay here to raise his family, and pretty much said he wasn't going to opt out, but ultimately, it's a decision that he was allowed to make, and you can't fault him for making it.

I'm going to miss J.D. Drew. I came to love his plate discipline and his "most boring man in the world" persona, which ironically gave him more of a personality than most of the cliché spewers around the league. With little in house options and a very thin free agent market, the Dodgers future looks worse today than it did yesterday.