Blog Entry

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:47 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2010 2:27 am
 

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Boston Red Sox struck again in a stunning late night move Wednesday, agreeing to terms with free agent outfielder Carl Crawford on a seven-year, $142 million contract. The deal is contingent on Crawford passing a physical exam, which is scheduled to happen on Thursday.

The move is the second monumental deal in a week for the Red Sox, who acquired slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from San Diego last weekend.

The reaction in the lobby at the Swan and Dolphin Resort here in the minutes before midnight as news of the Red Sox/Crawford deal broke was one of pure shock.

And, it should have been. Nobody, not even the hundreds of trained baseball professionals gathered here at the winter meetings, saw this one coming.

The Red Sox, spending so much money over the past six days that it would have made the late George Steinbrenner blush, have added two of the game's premier offensive stars, each of whom owns Gold Gloves and together add a perfect blend of speed and power.

This to a lineup that already ranked second in the American League in runs scored last year, and though the Sox already had lost Victor Martinez (Detroit) and Adrian Beltre (free agent), Crawford and Gonzalez, on paper at least, make Boston even more dangerous.

The Red Sox's moves not only are enough to give the Yankees acid reflux, it makes it imperative that New York close a deal with free agent ace left-hander Cliff Lee.

Because Boston's rotation of Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz and Daisuke Matsuzaka is far, far superior, as things currently stand, to the Yankees' CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and Three Schmoes Praying Not to Lose.

Crawford, 29, becomes the second-highest paid outfielder in the history of major-league baseball, behind another Boston outfielder -- Manny Ramirez, who signed an eight-year, $160 million deal before the 2001 season. But the average annual value of Crawford's deal -- $20.28 million -- surpasses Ramirez's $20 million.

Which is an absolutely jaw-dropping feat, given that Crawford never has had a 20-homer season.

Meantime, not only have the Red Sox struck a mighty blow against the hated Yankees, they put a major hurt on the Los Angeles Angels, who were considered heavy favorites to sign the outfielder who became a free agent this winter after a long run with the Tampa Bay Rays.

"That hurts my heart, man," Angels outfielder Torii Hunter told CBSSports.com in a late-night telephone conversation Wednesday. "That hurts my heart. But hey, what can you do? You've just got to go on to the next one.

"Congratulations to him. He deserves it."

Crawford last season led the American League with 13 triples and was fourth in the league with 110 runs scored. A four-time All-Star, in 154 games for the Rays, Crawford batted .307 with 19 home runs, 90 RBIs and 47 steals.

He has led the AL in steals four times, and his 105 triples lead all active major leaguers.

Crawford and Gonzalez together will give manager Terry Francona two more huge weapons to deploy in a lineup that already includes Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis and an aging -- but still dangerous -- David Ortiz.

"That's crazy," Hunter said. "I'm disappointed, man. I really wanted to play with him."

Some in the industry were sure that the Red Sox would veer in a direction other than Crawford after they acquired Gonzalez over the weekend.

Though a 48-hour negotiating window the Red Sox had with Gonzalez expired on Sunday without a contract extension, word here at the winter meetings is that Gonzalez and the Sox have agreed on the framework of a multi-year deal that will be announced sometime after Opening Day 2011. That way, the Sox can delay the millions they will owe in luxury tax until 2012.

The parameters of the Sox/Gonzalez deal are seven years at $154 million, according to sources with knowledge of the discussions. Combined, the Red Sox in the past six days have committed a total of $302 million to Crawford and Gonzalez.

"They have made some serious improvements," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told the YES Network's Jack Curry late Wednesday night. "They are going to make it tough on us."

Because of the Gonzalez deal, many in the industry had handicapped the Angels as the clear favorites to land Crawford, though Jayson Werth's seven-year, $126 million deal with the Washington Nationals figured to extend the Crawford negotiating process.

However, a source close to Crawford said earlier Wednesday that he was getting antsy to sign and remove the uncertainty from his future. And late Wednesday night, he certainly did that.

The Angels are believed to have offered Crawford a six-year deal for somewhere in the $105- to $110-million range. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman had dinner with Crawford and his representatives earlier this week, but the Yankees have been concentrating on ace pitcher Cliff Lee and it is not believed that they made an offer to Crawford.

Texas also had made contact with Crawford, a move some were watching given the fact that Crawford is from Houston and lives there during the offseason. But the Rangers, like the Yankees, are primarily focused right now on Lee.

The move is another crushing winter blow to the Angels, who were out-bid on both Mark Teixeira and Sabathia by the Yankees before the 2009 season.

Now, they lose Crawford -- a player they were supremely confident would gravitate their way -- to the Red Sox.

And the real question now becomes, even at this early stage of the winter, whether anybody can keep pace with the Red Sox in 2011.

That, or who in the world the Red Sox are going to land next.

Comments

Since: Nov 6, 2010
Posted on: December 24, 2010 2:23 pm
 

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

whatever makes you feel better.



Since: Jul 10, 2008
Posted on: December 11, 2010 3:30 am
 

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

try to stick to sports you republican idiot. all elephants should be drug out to the streets and forced to live like a welfare mother. fire your a$$. Unions help this country. Now, Red sox world, you are the New York Yankees.....crueboy1


Next time you probably should leave your family out of a sports section.




Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: December 10, 2010 9:48 pm
 

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

Better financial decisions than the Yanks?

Yes they have...you bring to light bad signings but every team has them....bottom line is the sox added A-Gone and Crawford and still reduced their payroll...I never said anything about not having a bad signing but the differance in payroll shows the sox have been more financially responsibly when compared to the Yankees.



Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: December 10, 2010 9:44 pm
 

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

try to stick to sports you republican idiot. all elephants should be drug out to the streets and forced to live like a welfare mother. fire your a$$. Unions help this country. Now, Red sox world, you are the New York Yankees.
spoken like a true uneducated idiot.






Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: December 10, 2010 9:42 pm
 

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

You writers need to get over it. Crawford is not the same player he was 3-4 seasons ago.  All he can do for the Angels is make them a better team, but even with that they won't compete with the Rangers. The Angels have a lot of problems not just financial.  Their GM don't know what he is doing. They could have been the one ripping off the Marlins years ago for Miguel Cabrera. Instead they chose guys who were clearly going to leave. They didn't even deal them for prospects.



Since: Oct 4, 2006
Posted on: December 10, 2010 8:24 pm
 

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

Better financial decisions than the Yanks? OK.. How about Dice K (has he been worth the King's ransom paid?) JD Drew? Eric Gagne (trade), Coco Crisp. Joel Pineiro. Willie Mo Pena, John Smolz, Brad Penny, Julio Lugo and an array of shortstops; Roco Baldelli, Wade Miller. The Yanks have had their bust, as well. I not sure the Sox have spent so much better

I was right with you at Dice K and Drew.  Could add Lugo and Reneria to that too as far as bad moves.  But the other guys were all short term cheap pick-ups that were worth a shot even if they didn't pan out.






Since: Oct 4, 2006
Posted on: December 10, 2010 8:19 pm
 

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

One, don't think for a minute that Adrian Gonzalez will only be $6.3 million on the cap, the "gentlemen's agreement" for a new mega-contract is done but will not be announced until after the start of the season and that way if does not count this year for luxury tax purposes.

This is not correct.  Gonzalez will sign after the start of next season for luxury tax purposes, but he will still be playing for 6.3mil in 2011.  The contract extension will beging in 2012.




Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: December 10, 2010 7:06 pm
 

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

Better financial decisions than the Yanks? OK.. How about Dice K (has he been worth the King's ransom paid?) JD Drew? Eric Gagne (trade), Coco Crisp. Joel Pineiro. Willie Mo Pena, John Smolz, Brad Penny, Julio Lugo and an array of shortstops; Roco Baldelli, Wade Miller. The Yanks have had their bust, as well. I not sure the Sox have spent so much better



Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: December 10, 2010 6:54 pm
 

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

Miller: When did Pettitte become a schmoe? Yes, AJ Burnett could be considered a question mark, but no more than Dice K and Lackey. Neither Bosox hurler covered themselves all that well in 2010. And Beckett has had his ups and down. So maybe the comparison is  Lester and Buchholz versus Sabathia and Hughes...
Hitting wise, Yanks still hold the edge at catcher, second, short and third, and likely right field. First-base is a wash and centerfield could go either way. DH: Ortiz or Posada - both are getting long in the tooth




Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: December 10, 2010 6:13 pm
 

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

The Red Sox let 2 guys go that are getting old and that would command longer and more expensive contracts than they wanted so they let them walk. They traded for A-gon which is counting for 6.3 Million next year and they signed 1 high end free agent. The yankees signed more then them already just by signing Jeter and Mariano for over 30 Million total.

First, let me say I don't care who spends what on what player.  If a team wants to spend $400 million on payroll, fine with me.  If they only want to spend $50million, so be it.  That said, your numbers are a little skewed here....One, don't think for a minute that Adrian Gonzalez will only be $6.3 million on the cap, the "gentlemen's agreement" for a new mega-contract is done but will not be announced until after the start of the season and that way if does not count this year for luxury tax purposes.  Second -- they do still have to replace the guys the "let walk", or resign them at some price so we don't know the total payroll figure for Boston yet.  For the Yankees, and I am not a Yankee fan, they did not add any payroll in signing Jeter and Rivera.  If I am not mistaken both of these players, Jeter for sure, took a pay cut from last year's salaries.



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