Buried in Nick Cafardo’s excellent Sunday notes column on the Boston Globe‘s website is this bit of troubling news for Red Sox fans: J.D. Drew has been experiencing discomfort in his hamstring this offseason and is likely to be limited when spring training opens later this month.
Drew battled hamstring problems throughout much of the 2010 season. He didn’t hit the disabled list once, but that seems likely to change this year if he is already having struggles here in early February.
The good news is that the Red Sox have enough depth to handle the two- or three-week stints when he goes down. Ryan Kalish is a well-rounded player and just about ready to become a big league regular. Mike Cameron and Darnell McDonald are both quality backups, too.
Boston is used to Drew’s nagging injuries. He started only 127 games in 2010, 124 in 2009 and 105 in 2008. That he’s already having problems is unfortunate, but the Sox are prepared.
Drew, 35, is entering the final season of a five-year, $72 million contract that he signed in December of 2006. He has spoken a few times about retiring when the 2011 season concludes.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Rangers have signed outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year deal. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Gomez will earn $11.5 million next season.
Gomez, 31, struggled with the Astros to a .594 OPS before the club released him in mid-August. The Rangers signed him shortly thereafter and were immediately rewarded. Gomez hit .284/.362/.543 with eight home runs and 24 RBI in 130 plate appearances through the end of the regular season.
As presently constructed, Gomez would likely take over in center field with Nomar Mazara handling left and Shin-Soo Choo in right.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Diamondbacks are close to signing free agent reliever Fernando Rodney.
Rodney, 39, has been inconsistent over the past two seasons. This past season, he was lights-out with the Padres, posting a 0.31 ERA in 28 appearances. After the Marlins acquired him at the end of June, he struggled to a 5.89 ERA in 39 appearances.
Brad Ziegler, who closed for the Diamondbacks in the first half last season, went to the Red Sox in a midseason trade and is now a free agent. The Diamondbacks had six other relievers register a save, but only Daniel Hudson and Jake Barrett recorded more than one. Adding Rodney will give the club some stability in the ninth inning.