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 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.


Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: December 9, 2010 11:18 am

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

Again, NEW YORK started this spending.  All everyone else is doing is reacting.   So you either spend to compete with the evil empire or u pull a KC or Milwaukee and just mosey on along.
Dont hate the Redsox for this, Hate NY, they started it and by golly Boston will finish it!
And to that dipsheet that said Crawfords speed to be wasted in a small Fenway park.......yeah, that speed will be wasted because those triples will now be homers in left field and so he wont need to be fast to round the bases.

Of course the Yankees didn't start the spending as any fan of baseball knows.  The Dodgers started the modern spending era with the Kevin Brown contract, followed by Texas and the A-Rod contract, and then Boston with Manny, and now Crawford.  The Yankees sign more free agents at about 70 - 80% of the contract totals other teams throw at one person.  Simple fact.

yeah, for a guy who has never hit 20 homers he will all the sudden learn to pop teh ball up over the Monster, dipsheet indeed.  The doubles will remain doubles as the clank of the aberation that is the Green Monster.  They sure won't go over it.  Phatetriots is exhibit "A" of homerism over objective reasoning, and foul-mouthed at that.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: December 9, 2010 11:14 am

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

Wow people still follow baseball? You guys must not have been told yet, they have this cool new thing called the NFL, it's much better.

Since: Jan 7, 2007
Posted on: December 9, 2010 11:07 am

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

What a bunch of commentary.  Crawford is a great signing by the Red Sox.  They help themselves and hurt the Angels and Yankees in the process.

Since: Jan 7, 2007
Posted on: December 9, 2010 11:06 am

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

You have to be sarcastic.  I see "nym" in your name so you must be.

I love New Yorkers - if the Yankees sign every guy available "Yeah all right!  NEW YORRRRK!"  But if someone else spens money "That's a ridiculous contract."

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: December 9, 2010 11:00 am

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

I don't agree with the wasted speed thing. He has played in the American league his whole career & always steals a ton. And Boston loves to steal with Ellsbury when he's healthy & can get on base. So, they will use Crawford's speed.

No one is worth the money these guys get and yes, Boston spends money like crazy too. Yankees just spent 500 million two years ago & Boston drops 300 mill this year. Oh well, it happens until they change the rules.

Luckily for Boston fans, their moves generally pan out better than the Yankees. (Knock on wood). And if Lackey works out (which he hasn't) and they don't have the crazy amount of injuries they had last year, watch out!

Still need bullpen help though.

Since: May 20, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2010 10:43 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: December 9, 2010 10:41 am

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

Unless the Yanks sign Lee, You've got to figure the Red Sox are preseason world series favorites.  Even if the Yanks do get Lee, the Sox are going to be tough to beat with their starting 9 and their starting pitching.  I didn't see this one coming, it appeared the Sox were looking in a different direction by exploring possible trades for a right fielder.  A huge signing but, still, $142 million?  I guess if Werth can get $127 million, than you had to figure Crawford would demand more. 

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: December 9, 2010 10:39 am

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

You know what this contract is just as bad as the Jayson Werth deal. When you look at Crawford's numbers, I am pretty sure the Rays concluded, yep in 2 years we will have a better option in the outfield. This is a guy that put up similar to numbers to what Chris Coghlan did for the Marlins in a shortened rookie season in which he won rookie of the year. The difference? Crawford is old and established; old also means he is slower and passed his best years.

Question. Are you an idiot or just uneducated and can't read?  Last year Crawford hit over .300.  He had 19 hr's, 90 rbi's and stole 47 bases.  To top it off he got his first gold glove and if he never wins one again it doesn't matter because regardless, he's excellent defensively.

Chris Coghlan's stats aside from his average were nowhere even close. Basically half the rbi's and no speed at all let alone a gold glove.   Werth is a much better comparison but not even he compares.  He's at least 3 years older, not nearly as good in the field, nothing for speed on the bases or stolen bases compared to crawford and I don't think he's ever hit .300 let alone averaging .300 plus.

Crawford is a GREAT signing by the Redsox... they are gonna LOVE this kid in Boston..... is he worth 20 million per season for 7 seasons?  I don't think a human being is worth 20 million per season doing anything but this is baseball, the top paid sport in the world.  These are world class athletes playing a game that pays more then any other game so it is what it is.....  The comparisons you made were stupid beyond belief... I can't stress that enough.  You are a very jealous person...

Crawford is old and established; old also means he is slower and passed his best years. This is the type of deal Adrian Gonzalez is worth, but Carl Crawford? Heck no

Carl Crawford is a whopping 9 months older then Gonzalez.  So if Crawford isn't worth the money, why is Gonzalez?   Yeah, Gonzalez has more power, but he hits for a lower average then Crawford in his career, doesn't steal 50 bases or more almost every season and isn't defensively what Crawford is.

I re-read your post and still have no idea what you're talking about....

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: December 9, 2010 10:35 am

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

All of that speed will be wasted in Boston, the epitome of American league ball, but he is definitely an upgrade both defensively and at the plate.  His work ethich may rub the loafers in Bean Town the wrong way however so there may be clubhouse issues.  Finally everyone can stop talking about the Yankees breaking the bank; every year there is always at least one team that hands out the crazy contract, and it is seldom the Yankees.  Boston, over the last decade or so, has spent much more on free agents as they often let their home grown guys go.  It looks like the Red Sox will certainly have the highest payroll, but that won't stop them from accusing the Yankees of "buying" players.  Boston has always been a bit of the pot calling the kettle black sort of team anyway.

Since: Mar 20, 2009
Posted on: December 9, 2010 10:32 am

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

Wow. look out Al east. If the yanks don't get Lee, you guys can forget winning this division. My god, that is a quarter of a BILLION dollars the Red Sox just spent.

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