J.D. Drew, 34, likely to retire after the 2011 season

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Rob Bradford of Boston’s WEEI caught up with Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew on Saturday and the two discussed his plans for the future.  It sure sounds like the 34-year-old Drew, who has now played 13 seasons of Major League Baseball, might call it quits at the end of next season. 

His current contract with the Red Sox will be up at that point and he told Bradford that he wants to participate in faith-related missions and spend more time with his family.

“I don’t think people realize the intensity of being gone,” said Drew. “It’s really,
really difficult. Then there’s where I stand in my faith and my
commitment. Those things pull heavily when you start to get to this
point in my career. … I’ve had a great time in the game of baseball, and the relationships
I’ve come across have been great. But that being said, there’s only so
much you can do.”

Drew seems to miss a large chunk of playing time every season due to a range of injuries, but he’s one of the most productive and underrated players in all of baseball when healthy.  This year the right fielder has posted 18 home runs and 62 RBI in 435 at-bats and has batted .282/.370/.507 against right-handed hitters.  He still has great range on defense and a strong arm.

Drew is a stellar .281/.388/.499 career hitter with 234 career homers and 1,371 career hits.  He’s played for the Cardinals, Braves, Dodgers and Red Sox.