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: Apr 2, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2010 11:49 am

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

kinda like what happened to derek jeter but you idiots keep payin him

Since: Sep 10, 2007
Posted on: December 9, 2010 11:48 am

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

So. does anyone think that all the "Baseball is Good, Baseball is Great" TV announcers are still going to use Tampa Bay as an example of how a smaller market team can still compete?

Since: Aug 18, 2008
Posted on: December 9, 2010 11:47 am

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

i agree  s t fan we learned from the yanks when they spent 430 million for tex ,cc and a j this is what we have to do to compete.maybe soon a cap will be in place,of course if the yanks signed lee and crawford we'd be hearing from you how the yankee's would be world champions. if i was cashman  i'd trade for greinke cheaper younger and maybe as good thats of course if they have the players k c wants.cheer up some time fan things will get better     
;  i think.

Since: Dec 15, 2009
Posted on: December 9, 2010 11:45 am

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

Great job Theo & company. You realized it wasn't enough to just get Gonzalez (with the loss of VMart/Beltre), and you didn't sit back on that signing! You continually pursued the hottest FA bat on the market, and landed your man. Maybe Werth was the primary target that fell through the cracks during Adrian negotiations, but this Sox fan here likes CC in boston a whole lot better. The outlook of this team that needed an offensive boost now is just awesome. 
I cannot wait to get to Fenway Park this year!     

Since: May 20, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2010 11:40 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: December 9, 2010 11:39 am

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

Oh eightzero, you mean that league where they fine you 15k for pushing the QB down...get a grip man, Goodell is destroying the NFL with his PPR - Powder Puff Rules...and in the end baseball is still the better game...I do agree though its not the season to be talking about it but hey, its news...

Since: Jun 14, 2009
Posted on: December 9, 2010 11:38 am

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

Jay.PackerFlame , aren't the Jays trying really hard to get Zack Greinke? Aren't they apparently in the bidding to land Beltre and Manny Ramirez? Weren't they also after Carlos Pena?

Yeah, please, after the Red Sox didn't sign Victor Martinez, everyone in Toronto was saying how this is Toronto's chance to go out and spend some money and possibly do some damage in the East. Just because the Sox did some spending now all of the sudden the Blue Jays can't? Please.

Since: Sep 26, 2009
Posted on: December 9, 2010 11:34 am

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

Great signing until his legs give out and he is no longer the speedy base runner and bag stealer that he currently is, also he can't hit lefties.

Since: Apr 25, 2008
Posted on: December 9, 2010 11:29 am

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

NEW YORK started this spending.  All everyone else is doing is reacting.  

Thats a great spin job by someone who is desperate.  perfect job of deflecting the hypocracy of blaming the yankees while your own team does what you give lip about... and by your logic since the dodgers had the highest payroll on the late 90's the yankees just reacted to the dodgers when they started spending big in the early 2000's.    

Dont hate the Redsox for this, Hate NY, they started it and by golly Boston will finish it!

LOL ok tough guy your going to finsih it huh, sure your not from NY?  boston and its fans are just low rent versions of NY and its fans.  they try and pretend they are the saviors of everyone but your just a poor mans version of us trying to do what we do but not as well. 

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.

i'm not the one who said his speed would be wasted, which it won't, but to think or even want carl crawford to attemp to hit high fly balls that will clear the green monster on a regular basis is being a dumb ass dipshit yourself. 

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: December 9, 2010 11:25 am

Red Sox stun baseball world, sign Crawford

No matter how much the Sox spend they will lose. The Pirates have won more World Series in the last 50 years than the Red Sox. Yes the sox have won 2 in the last 10 anf look like their going to make a run again but their pitching will not match up in a short series. The strongest teams have the strongest pitching.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or