Sox poised to sign Lugo

Lugo, Red Sox reach four-year deal

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Red Sox apparently capped off a productive second day of the Winter Meetings by landing their top choice to play shortstop in 2007.

Julio Lugo, according to a multiple reports, has agreed to terms on a contract with the Red Sox that will pay him $36 million over four years.

The only obstacle before the deal becomes official is a physical.

The news came out just hours after the Red Sox had signed free agent outfielder J.D. Drew to a five-year contract, which is also pending a physical.

Lugo, who has long been targeted by the Red Sox, will likely lead off. Either Coco Crisp or Kevin Youkilis could hit second, setting the table for a lethal 3-4-5 combo of David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and Drew.

The Red Sox would not comment on the report that Lugo is virtually a done deal.

But their interest in him has hardly been a secret.

Lugo split last season between Tampa Bay and Los Angeles, hitting .278, scoring 69 runs, hitting 12 homers and stealing 24 bases.

His season took a downturn following the July 31 trade to the Dodgers, when he was forced into a utility role thanks to the presence of star shortstop Rafael Furcal.

Lugo won't have to worry about sharing playing time in Boston. He will be Boston's shortstop.

The Red Sox think that Lugo can regularly put up the type of numbers he did in 2005, when he hit .295, scored 89 runs, had 182 hits and stole 39 bases.

Lugo, 31, has played in 920 Major League games for the Astros, Devil Rays and Dodgers. He's a .277 career hitter with 139 stolen bases.

Ian Browne is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.