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.

Dirt x12
Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2010 4:05 pm
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Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: December 9, 2010 3:58 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

Very well thought out. Although when Buchholz, and Lester become arbitration eligible they should be able to take home a pretty penny, if they have not already signed contract extensions.
I don't know why this article says, "Red Sox stun baseball world." He was either going to Boston, or Anaheim. Texas, and New York he was only going to be a fall back plan to whichever didn't get Lee. New York will now sign Lee, and Texas goes out and trades for Greinke.

Since: Jul 24, 2009
Posted on: December 9, 2010 3:54 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

    The Red Sox are going to be tough. Crawford is a great all around player. The Yanks should not keep going up in salary offers to Lee. Hope Pettite comes back - and hope the Yankees sign at least a couple of number 2 or 3 starters. We have to shore up the starting rotation.

Since: Dec 9, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2010 3:49 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

Since: Dec 9, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2010 3:44 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

breakdown Redsox signing of Carl Crawford and what it means for the Angels and Yankees

please let me know if you guys agree with what i said in my video thanks

Since: Nov 2, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2010 3:34 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

The UnKindest Cut of All.  :(  Carl Crawford in, I can barely say it, a Red Sox Uniform.  UGH!!!  Phhttt!! Tastes Rotten!

In RaysBallLand there's all the efforts to toss the emotional responses aside; to look at things like the better draft picks the Rays will receive versus those had he signed with the Angels.  And to paraphrase Harry Doyle: What can I say except...At Least he's not going to the Yankees. A Rays Fan from Wisconsin said: This will be almost as bad as the first time I saw Brett Favre in Vikings Purple. I want to Vomit again.

Carl will whither under the heat of the BoSox Media. He'll bang up his already beaten down body bouncing off the Monster. Red Sox fans will scream: Can't he keep ANYBODY from getting to Second on a ball off the Wall? But he'll one day be having to decide what Cap to wear at Cooperstown.  All I can say is Carl, remember where Ya came from...and Besta Luck...Cept when you're playing us.

Since: Aug 13, 2007
Posted on: December 9, 2010 3:28 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

But seriously, the Giants won the World Series last year with payroll of about 85 million. Yankees were over 200 mil.

Since: Nov 6, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2010 3:04 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

Let me be the first to welcome Theo and the Red Sox to the dark side of the evil empire.  What the Sox publicly criticized for so many years, they now have done, WELL DONE I SAY.  Now onto the facts.  I have a been a lifelong Yanks fan, and have endured some great years in the past, as well as some dismal years in the 80's, where, by the way the Yanks proved you could spend a ton of free agent money and still lose.  I think the fact that the sox won 89 game last year with all the injuries they had and still finished just 3 wins short of the playoffs started this drive for a big splash in free agency.  Now, let me point out some things about having a loaded lineup since we normally have cornered the market on that.  One thing I learned is that all those bats do normally guarantee that you are going to be in the playoffs, but just know that the whole lineup is never hot or going well all at once.  Case in point, when the Yanks won the series 2 years ago against the Phils, the offense was horrible.  Texieria coud not hit the ball out of the infield.  Sure, Arod carried us along the way, but we won because we outpitched them.  It's nice to have a great lineup to talk smack to other fans about, and yes, they cant say squat back.  But one thing never changes in baseball come playoffs, and it is something that as I have gotten older have given in to.  YES, good pitching does beat good hitting. So let the wins and losses mount up and wie'll see what it looks like next September.But, for me, I wouldnt have it any other way.  Yanks and Sox lining up for a slugfest next year.  I do think Agon and Crawford could account for a 10 game difference in the win column.  See ya next spring and may both teams stay injury free.

Yours Truly,

Bucky "F^*&ing" Dent

Since: Aug 13, 2009
Posted on: December 9, 2010 2:49 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

"Should I be like EVERY CRYING Red Sox Fan WAHHHHHHHH The The Red Sox are buying their way to the Playoffs WAHHHHHHH
NO!!!! I wont because Its a new day and this is Baseball. If you have the Money SPEND it!!! If you dont have the money GOOD LUCK!!!o be
Its going to be a long season!!!  I think Crawford is one of the best players in the game. AND I WONT LIE!!! I wsh he was in PinStripes!!!
The Red Sox cant ever say the Yankees just SPEND SPEND SPEND, Because they took a Yankees 101 course this Winter!!!!"

ITS TOUGH TO CRYING BUYING ANYTHING WHEN HE REDSOX ACTUALLY HAVE OVER 16 MILLION LESS TIED UP IN 2011 THAN THEY DID LAST YEAR. IF THE YANKEES SIGN Lee & Pettite you will still be looking at a 50 - 70 million dollar difference in Payroll. The yankees only big subtractions are Vasquez and Pettite and salary decrease in Jeter, but others for pay raises basically wipes out what they saved in Jeters Contract so as of now they releived 23 Million in the 2 pitchers Vasquez and Pettite but they have alot of holes to fill in the Rotation and looks like they will be adding 22 to 23 million a year in Lee and they still need other pitchers so we are probably looking at a 50 - 70 million dollar difference still.

I have no problem with spending, if it helps the team make money in the long run why would they not invest in great players. I am just glad the Red Sox are stepping up and I am not writing this call out the yankees for spending money its to call out the fans of all teams who are crying about the Red Sox buying players when they added 1 free agent and dropped a ton of salary.

Since: May 20, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2010 2:47 pm
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