Drew agrees to one-year deal with Braves

Updated: January 20, 2004, 4:01 PM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Outfielder J.D. Drew and the Atlanta Braves agreed Tuesday to a $4.2 million, one-year contract, avoiding arbitration.

The oft-injured Drew, acquired in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals in December, is expected to replace Gary Sheffield in right. Sheffield signed with the New York Yankees this offseason.

St. Louis took Drew with the fifth pick of the 1998 amateur draft, but he has been plagued by injuries, never playing more than 135 games in a season. He made five trips to the DL in the past four seasons for a total of 121 days.

The 28-year-old native of Hahira, Ga., hit .289 last season with 15 homers and 42 RBI in just 100 games. Atlanta's doctors spoke with the St. Louis doctors before the deal.

Drew, who had filed for arbitration last week, could earn an extra $400,000 in performance bonuses.

He was the last Brave remaining in arbitration.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press