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: Feb 7, 2008
Posted on: December 9, 2010 6:47 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

Dear Red Sox, when hating on the Yankees for spending too much $$ to field a team, please LOOK IN THE MIRROR.  You have become exactly what you hated...the New York Yankees.  Good Job.  Maybe try and put a real team together the right way through your farm system and not overpaying for 2-3 all stars.  If you need the blueprint, just look out West to my WORLD CHAMPION SF GIANTS, with less than 1/2 of your payroll.  BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...I can't stop laughing.  It feels too good.

Since: Feb 7, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2010 6:24 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

your either a yankee fan or a moron and if you think beckett and lackey are done after 1 down year even dumber.  How could they possibly miss beltre when they are getting a huge upgrade in Gonzalez

Since: Jul 2, 2007
Posted on: December 9, 2010 5:54 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

They essentially replaced Beltre with Gonzalez, there's not even a debate.  That's a plain and simple upgrade.  They're not going to miss Adrian Beltre.  

Since: Apr 26, 2009
Posted on: December 9, 2010 5:35 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

Well you have to consider all the offense they just added. Lackey had a down year and so did beckett. The Red Sox pitching staff is superior because they have 4 proven starts while the Yanks have Sabathia and Phil Hughes. The end of the rotation is a huge question mark in the Bronx. Have fun inking a 32 year old pitcher for 7 years.

Since: Nov 3, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2010 5:21 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

Crawford is a nice player, but you have to laugh at Miller's assertion that the Sox pitching staff is "far, far superior" to the Yanks Staff (or anyone else for that matter). Beckett is finished, Lackey might be the most overpaid pitcher in baseball (if not for Burnett), and Dice-K please, give me a bat and I'll show you how awful that guy is. My money says the Sox should have saved some money for their pitching. Oh yeah they will miss Beltre more than anyone in the organization is willing to admit, he was a perfect fit for Fenway and by far their best player last year. Sorry but I don't see the AL handing a pennant to Boston just yet............. 

Since: Jul 6, 2007
Posted on: December 9, 2010 5:16 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

This is good for the sox.  He is still relatively young and hes very good.  This will add speed and average to this line up as well.  T all f those that think Beckett, Dice K and Lackey suck.  They dont.  Yes, last season was not good for them I will not lie.  Dice k has always been shaky but Beckett is usually gold and Lackey is veteran goodness.  You will see this season, they will be dominant.   

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: December 9, 2010 5:00 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

As a yankee fan, I have to admit it. Epstien is light years ahead of cashman. Red sox develop better players and get a better bang for thier buck when they go after free agents. Sox look awesome next year with that pitching staff and lineup

Just became a member and then bashes Cashman....what a phony...we can see through you like a window.

Nice try moron. Go start a new screen name tomorrow.

Since: May 20, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2010 4:30 pm
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Since: Mar 22, 2008
Posted on: December 9, 2010 4:18 pm
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Since: Mar 22, 2008
Posted on: December 9, 2010 4:15 pm
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