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: Jun 21, 2009
Posted on: December 9, 2010 1:39 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

'I understand all the gripe over money but it's really not as bad as you think.  I want every one to bare with me.  First look at who came off the payroll, M. Lowell 12 million, A. Beltre 9 million, V. Martinez 7.5 million, those three alone is over 28 million dollars.  Then you add in guys like Okajima, Hermida, Varitek making less, Lugo's 9 million, Delcarmen, Bonser, Bill Hall, and you can add another around 18 million to that.  So that is a total of about 46 million of the books.  Doesn't seem so bad now does it?  Ok lets skip to 2012 when the Gonzalez contract will kick in.  Ortiz 12.5 million, J. Drew, 15 million, Cameron 7.5 million, Scutaro 5.5 million, Papelbon roughly 11 million.  Thats about 51 million coming off the books.  And im not even counting smaller guys that are unknown at this point.  If you add these 2 years together thats about 100 million off the payroll.  So they add two 20 million dollar players, doesn't seem so bad now does it?  Im sure most are saying they will just buy more then, Im not so sure I think you will see a rookie (Iglesias) at SS in 2012 and Ryan Kalish playing OF in 2012.  In all truth and reality I guess Theo and Co knew exactly what they were doing when they called last year a bridge.  In Theo we Trust.   Love for some feed back to hear what you guys think.'
Theguru27, I think this is a good assessment. In effect the Red Sox traded Lowell, Beltre, VMartinez and 3 prospects for AGonzalez and Crawford this year, with a year to try out Gonzalez. If they don't re-sign Gonzalez they would still get draft picks to more or less compensate for the loss of the prospects they gave to San Diego. If they do re-sign Gonzalez then it basically was a 6 for 2 trade player-wise, with the money being about equal. They earn additional money the further they go in the post-season, so from a (non-sports) business perspective it also looks sound.

Since: May 20, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2010 1:20 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: December 9, 2010 1:06 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

Cashman will now offer Cliff Lee a 14 year deal worth 350 million -- It'll go great with signing ARod till he is 43.  Jeter till he is 40.  Rivera till he is 42.

Sorry Boston fans -- I have to give the nods to the Yankees here.  You may have signed and traded for the two best players in their prime, but imagine the Yanks have those HOF'ers locked up and they will be collecting social security checks while still playing for the Yankees.  LOL

Sick moves by the Red Sox. 


Moron of the year award to MikeD for the above comments.


Why to go MikeD another great post....still waiting for you to answer my question...funny how you run away from a question when the obvious answer,which is why you won't answer it, will make you look like a complete moron after your lame duck arguement.


Since: Mar 19, 2007
Posted on: December 9, 2010 1:06 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

That's a lot of money to invest into a 2nd place team whose playoff chances hinge on a 1-game wild card playoff.

Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: December 9, 2010 1:05 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

True, the Yanks would have a two-headed monster in Lee and Sabathia.  But, I would take Lester, Beckett, Bucholz, Lackey and Dice-K over Sabathia, Lee, Hughes, Burnett and maybe Pettite.  I would think that Lackey and Beckett would rebound a bit next season, while Bucholz may regress somewhat.  You need quality starting pitching to get you to the playoffs.  There is a lot of dust that needs to settle before pitchers and catchers report.  It sure is nice to see the Sox deal a couple of blow to the Yanks in the off-season.  I am curious to see where Greinke could land.

Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: December 9, 2010 1:05 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

It looks now like the Red Sox will be the team to beat.  Their one question mark is catcher.  Victor Martinez is gone.  Jason Varitek is still a nice backup, though he hasn't much of an arm any more.  Jared Saltalamacchia was a promising prospect with the Braves a few years ago but has never lived up to his promise.  Dusty Brown looks like one of those AAAA types, good enough to keep coming up from the minors but not good enough to nail down a job. So who catches?

One question is what happens with Adrian Beltre now.  He wants a contract based on what he did last year--but every team in baseball remembers when he got a monster contract based on what he did in 2004.  With his back pocket stuffed full of Seattle's cash, Beltre was only a very ordinary player for the next several years.  Then last year he was in a contract year and once more looked like an All-Star.  If he had played every year on the level of 2004 and 2010, Beltre would be on his way to the Hall of Fame.  But he didn't, and the owners aren't going to pay him as if he had.

I don't believe the Yankees will get Lee.  Even if they do, the Red Sox still have Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, John Lackey, and Daisuke Matsuzaka, with Tim Wakefield for depth.  That's still a quality rotation.  When the Sox have Buchholz and Lester on the mound, they're competitive with any team no matter who's pitching for the other side.

Since: May 22, 2007
Posted on: December 9, 2010 12:59 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

I agree with the old "good pitching beats good hitting" theory, but you have to take into account that Boston has an awesome starting rotation to go along with the offense.  Lester, Beckett, Buchholtz, Lackey and Dice K.  Dice K still has potential, but either way, he's a good # 5 starter.  I'm sure Tito will have fun in Spring Training, and the season, playing with that batting order he's got.  I think the Sox will win the division by 5 or 6 games this year if the yanks land Lee.  If the yanks don't land Lee, it could be double digits.

Since: Sep 18, 2007
Posted on: December 9, 2010 12:54 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

ummmm, what????  Probably sounded good in your head, but seriously, it's not even close to coherent English.

Since: Nov 6, 2006
Posted on: December 9, 2010 12:46 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

To me, this makes it even more obvious that Cliff Lee will be a Yankee by the end of the week.  There's no way NY would not counter Boston's moves by bringing in serious, top flight pitching.  While Boston's offense indeed looks strong, Sabathia and Lee would be a formidable two headed monster that would keep the Yankees contending all year.
Not to mention, The Giants' victory in the WS reasserts the theory that great pitching will always win out over great hitting.  The math backs that up.  In the post-roids era, good pitching will command higher and higher prices, making a signing like the one Boston did with Crawford look a bit riskier.
Look for the Yanks to make a splash before week's end.

Since: Jun 11, 2009
Posted on: December 9, 2010 12:46 pm

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

By committing to Gonzalez and Crawford, the RedSox have taken fan costs to a new level.  Assuming consession and advertising stays the same, the average cost of a ticket in Boston will go up $14 a game!  That is crazy math, I know.  Other revenue streams will increase, partially defeating my figures.  But WOW, only in the AL East.
I'll curse the acquisitions in the middle of the season, but it is fascinating to read in the dead of winter!  God, I love baseball!

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