Tag:Carl Crawford
Posted on: December 2, 2010 12:46 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2010 5:41 pm

Top storylines to expect at Winter Meetings

From December 6-9, baseball's offseason will kick into high gear as team officials, agents, players and media descend upon Orlando, Fla. This week, MLB Facts and Rumors will preview an aspect of the Winter Meetings each day. Today: The top storylines of the meetings.

There are three major storylines when it comes to the Winter Meetings and that's what will be dominating the airwaves. It's going to be all about free agency and possible trades Monday through Wednesday, then Thursday sees the Rule 5 draft take center stage.

That's not all that will happen, however. Below is a list of the major storylines of the meetings.

The MLBPA wants owners to hold off on voting in any specific proposals for expanding the playoffs. Both sides seem to agree it is inevitable the playoffs will be expanded, but logistics such as timing, length of series and playoff bonuses need to be hashed out.

With one year remaining on the labor agreement, expanded playoffs probably won't happen until 2012, but there will be plenty of chatter around the topic as the MLBPA's executive board is currently meeting in Orlando, a week in advance of the meetings. That's not a coincidence, especially as Selig's own 14-man committee will be discussing adding two wild-card teams to the mix on Dec. 7, when they meet in Orlando. Other topics that could be touched on include expanding video replay (don't bet on it) and turning the amateur draft into a worldwide one with a slotting system.

No, it probably won't be Cliff Lee, although there will be plenty of developments in that arena during the Winter Meetings.

However, it's likely that a top free-agent name does come off the board, whether Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth or Carl Pavano.

With agents and GMs all in one place amid a haze of frenetic energy, things tend to accelerate faster toward getting things done and there is always a few significant free-agent pieces to come off the board.

Of the three major free-agents left in Lee, Werth and Crawford, it's the Ray that figures to be the closest to signing. Lee is in no hurry and it's not known if there are even any bids in hand. Werth, for his part, says that negotiations haven't accelerated and figures haven't been exchanged, although that was days ago which is an entire millennia in baseball happenings.

However, Crawford has already been pitched heavily by the Angels, and the Red Sox met with him in Houston. Sounds like things are heating up. He could very well grab the lead story on many newspapers' sports sections next week.

Every time a new free agent signs, the trade market gets clearer. For example, when the Dodgers signed Juan Uribe, that caused the Giants to strike for Miguel Tejada and essentially take themselves out of the Jason Bartlett sweepstakes. The Dodgers then sent Ryan Theriot to the Cardinals as a result of signing Uribe, which put the Cardinals in a position to decline Bartlett's services as well if they so choose.

Teams are starting to plug up gaps, which should accelerate the wheeling and dealing so GMs aren't frozen out of a player or a deal falls apart thanks to a resolution in free agency.

Zack Greinke
Greinke is going to be the popular name on the trade market, but he's not going anywhere until Cliff Lee comes off the board, and perhaps not even then. Remember, the Royals righty is two years from free agency and has a high price tag. Kansas City is holding out hope it can eventually convince Greinke to re-sign once he sees the talent around him improving.

There will be plenty of smoke surrounding Greinke, but don't be surprised if nothing comes of it.


On Thursday, the Rule 5 draft will cap the meetings and everyone will hit the airport in the afternoon. The draft will have plenty of machinations as there always seems to be a gem per year that emerges as Josh Hamilton, Dan Uggla and Joakim Soria can attest to. There was no such gem in 2009, so perhaps 2010 will fix that remedy.

There were 17 selections in the first round of the '09 Rule 5 draft in the major-league phase and 19 in 2008. That means one can comfortably assume at least half of the major-league teams will be participating in the draft. There is also a Triple- and Double-A phase, although the latter is rarely taken advantage of by teams.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 1, 2010 9:50 pm

Red Sox getting busy

The Red Sox may be looking to make a splash before next week's Winter Meetings.

Earlier today, Yahoo!'s Tim Brown reported (via Twitter ) Red Sox officials were in Houston meeting with Carl Crawford, and now he says (again, on Twitter ) that the team will meet with Scott Boras on Thursday to discuss Adrian Beltre and Jayson Werth.

The Red Sox have been relatively quiet so far this offseason, but nobody expects them to sit still.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 1, 2010 9:57 am

Red Sox hard after Crawford, Werth

Werth It's been a quiet offseason for the Red Sox so far, but things may be about to blow up.

The Boston Herald reports that Boston is "working hard behind the scenes" to get one of Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth (pictured) into Fenway Park.

Any deal for Werth or Crawford is expected to top John Lackey's free-agent deal with the club for five years and $82.5 million. That is the biggest contract outlay to date new ownership has committed to a player, with J.D. Drew's five-year, $70 million pact the litmus test for a position player.

Werth is requesting a six-year deal, Crawford eight. Both sides figure to have to settle for one year less, with the average annual salary increasing as a result of the concession.

There hasn't been any rumors of Werth or Crawford coming close to signing a deal just yet, although the Angels are courting Crawford heavily.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 30, 2010 11:55 pm

Francisco, Frasor accept arbitration

Jason Frasor The Rangers' Frank Francisco and the Blue Jays' Jason Frasor have accepted salary arbitration, the Major League Baseball Players Association announced Tuesday night. They were the only two of 27 arbitration-eligible free agents to accept.

Francisco and Frasor are both middle relievers and may have found themselves hamstrung by being Type A free agents and costing a draft pick to sign.

Turning down arbitration were Kevin Gregg, Octavio Dotel, Trevor Hoffman, Kevin Correia, Pedro Feliciano, Aaron Heilman, Brad Hawpe, Felipe Lopez, Scott Downs, Randy Choate, Grant Balfour, J.J. Putz, Carl Crawford, Rafael Soriano, Carl Pavano, Adrian Beltre, Chad Qualls, Cliff Lee, Jayson Werth, Adam Dunn, Jesse Crain, Orlando Hudson, Paul Konerko, Miguel Olivo and Adam LaRoche.

Those 25 players could still re-sign with their previous teams.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 28, 2010 6:11 pm

Crawford's agents getting creative

Carl Crawford If you're on Theo Epstein's Christmas list, start dropping some hints, because you may get lucky and get a re-gifted iPad for Christmas.

According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times
, the agents for the former Rays outfielder Carl Crawford are sending iPads "preloaded with an impressive video touting the free agent's strengths, showing highlights and offering testimonials" to teams who have expressed interest in Crawford.

I guess when you're about to get a commission on a $100 million contract, you can afford to send out a couple of extra bucks on advertising.

Somehow, though, I'm guessing if Neal Huntington calls Greg Genske and crew about Crawford, he'll just get the DVD version sent to him, but maybe they'll FedEx it to make him feel important.

Topkin notes Crawford, like the other six Rays free agents offered arbitration, have yet to turn down the Rays, but he expects that from Crawford, Rafael Soriano, Brad Hawpe, Chad Qualls, Randy Choate and, well, Joaquin Benoit, who has already signed with the Tigers.

However, Topkin notes reliever Grant Balfour may accept arbitration. As a Type A free agent, he may find other teams unwilling to give up the necessary picks to sign him.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 26, 2010 6:38 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:13 pm

Dodgers still shopping

The Dodgers made today's big news, signing free-agent starter Jon Garland, but the team isn't finished spending.

On the conference call announcing the move, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said he's still looking for a bat and a reliever. He's also needs to decide on what to do at catcher, according to this tweet from Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times .

The Dodgers were expected to be hamstrung by the divorce of owner Frank McCourt, but they've re-signed Ted Lilly and Hiroki Kuroda in addition to signing Garland.

It's unlikely the Dodgers can afford one of the higher-priced free agents like Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth or Adam Dunn.

The Dodgers have three catchers on their 40-man roster, but could choose to non-tender Russell Martin. The team also has A.J. Ellis and Hector Gimenez on the 40-man roster. The team didn't offer arbitration to free-agent catcher Rod Barajas this week.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans 

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.  

Posted on: November 23, 2010 8:03 pm
Edited on: November 23, 2010 8:06 pm

Brewers offer Hoffman arbitration

Hoffman The Milwaukee Brewers offered Trevor Hoffman arbitration, but Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that Hoffman has agreed to decline arbitration.

Hoffman is a Type B free agent, so Milwaukee will net a compensatory pick if he signs elsewhere. The career leader in saves has indicated he will only play in 2011 if he is the closer, which he be in Milwaukee if he chose to return.

In other arbitration news:
  • Cliff Lee has unsurprisingly been offered arbitration along with fellow Type-A free agent Frank Francisco, which could chill Francisco's market. Vladimir Guerrero and Bengie Molina both saw their market increase with no offers of arbitration as MLB.com reports.
  • The Orioles have declined to offer arbitration to Koji Uehara, who may be among the most coveted relievers since he is extremely productive, is stingy with walks and will come on a one-year pact most likely. It's unlikely that Kevin Millwood is offered arbitration as the Baltimore Sun outlines, and if the Sun is to be believed, Millwood won't have a problem finding a job. The Rockies and Royals appear to be the farthest along in contract discussions.
  • Derrek Lee won't be back in Atlanta as the club will not offer arbitration to the Type-A free agent. Offering arbitration would have near guaranteed Lee's return, and the first-base job belongs to Freddie Freeman as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes.
  • The Diamondbacks will offer arbitration to Aaron Heilman and Adam LaRoche (both Type B free agents). It is possible LaRoche could accept and return as first baseman.
  • The Rays cut ties with Dan Wheeler (Type A) and Carlos Pena (Type B) as the St. Petersburg Times says, but did tender offers to Type A's in Carl Crawford, Grant Balfour and Rafael Soriano. They also offered to Type B's in Joaquin Benoit, Randy Choate, Brad Hawpe and Chad Qualls. Some of these Type B offers certainly have gentleman's agreements to decline, while Benoit is a Tiger and is already assured of giving Tampa a draft pick.
  • The Angels have announced DH Hideki Matsui won't be offered arbitration. The A's are thought to be contenders for Matsui's services.
  • The Denver Post has arbitration offers from Colorado out to Jorge de la Rosa (Type A) and Octavio Dotel (Type B).

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 23, 2010 2:19 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:29 pm

Hamilton runs away with AL MVP

Josh Hamilton wins the American League MVP, and while it wasn't quite the landslide that Joey Votto's NL victory was, it wasn't close, either.

Hamilton collected 22 of the 28 first-place votes, had four second-place votes and two fourth-place votes for a total of 358 points. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera was second, finishing with five first-place votes and 262 overall points. Robinson Cano was third (229) and Toronto's Jose Bautista was fourth with one first-place vote and 165 total points.

Josh Hamilton Here's the final voting
Josh Hamilton, Rangers 358
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers 262
Robinson Cano, Yankees 229
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays 165
Paul Konerko, White Sox, 130
Evan Longoria, Rays 100
Carl Crawford, Rays 98
Joe Mauer, Twins 97
Adrian Beltre, Red Sox 83
Delmon Young, Twins 44
Vladimir Guerrero, Rangers 22
Rafael Soriano, Rays 21
CC Sabathia, Yankees 13
Shin-Soo Choo, Indians 9
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees 8
Felix Hernandez, Mariners 6
Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners 3
Jim Thome, Twins 2
Joakim Soria, Royals 1
Mark Teixeira, Yankees 1

An interesting note, both of the MVPs made their debut for the Reds in 2007, Hamilton on opening day and Votto after rosters expanded in September. The Reds traded Hamilton after the 2007 season to the Rangers for pitcher Edinson Volquez and Daniel Ray Herrera.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

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