Tag:Carl Crawford
Posted on: December 22, 2010 2:26 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2010 2:35 pm

Crawford springs for lunch for Rays

Carl Crawford Carl Crawford didn't forget those that helped him sign a seven-year, $142-million deal with the Red Sox. On Wednesday, Crawford arranged for a barbecue meal for about 150 Tampa Bay Rays employees at Tropicana Field, the St. Petersburg Times reports .

Crawford played for nine seasons with the Rays before leaving as a free agent.

Sometimes we forget how many people work behind the scenes for a major league franchise. And while many are seasonal workers and weren't there to enjoy the bounty, it was still a really nice gesture on the part of Crawford, who can certainly afford a nice meal for folks who have helped him along the way.

Crawford has long been noted as one of the good guys in baseball, and this certainly doesn't hurt that image.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: December 20, 2010 5:37 pm

Offseason spending spree hits $1 billion

Maury Brown of bizofbaseball.com notes that with the Astros making their signing of Bill Hall official, major-league teams have now officially invested over $1 billion in contracts for free agents since the end of the season, including both one-year and multi-year contracts.

Hall's one-year, $3 million deal brings the total to $1,000,380,000 for 69 players. That's an average of about $14.5 million per man, but contracts like Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth (worth almost $390 million by themselves) skew that quite a bit. The 69 deals include 34 one-year contracts, which are worth an average of $3,365,588.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: December 17, 2010 4:21 pm

Angels never made offer to Crawford

Arte Moreno A report after Carl Crawford signed with the Red Sox said he Angels made a late offer to match the deal. But Angels owner Arte Moreno said not only did that not happen, the Angels never made Crawford a formal offer at all.

"It's crazy. I paid [$183 million] for the team [in 2003], and now we're talking $142 million for one player?" Moreno told the Los Angeles Times. "Seven years on a player is a huge risk financially. [Crawford's] greatest asset is speed, and he's a very skilled athlete who would have fit perfectly in left field for us. But we didn't look at him as a power hitter in our stadium."

Moreno said that signing one player for more than $20 million a year would raise the payroll to a point where it would limit other options and force him to increase the Angels' fan-friendly ticket prices.

"You look at the economic risk and the franchise risk," he said. "The reality is, can I write a check for the player? Yes. But is it smart business in the long term? I don't think so."

Moreno said he and general manager Tony Reagins met with Crawford and his agents on the first night of the Winter Meetings, and were told Crawford "already had a deal," but not with whom. Two days later, he signed with Boston. Moreno said the Angels never discussed the parameters of any offer with Crawford.

Moreno said the Angels have made "a significant offer" to third baseman Adrian Beltre, who is reportedly seeking somewhere around $15 million per season.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: December 14, 2010 9:17 am
Edited on: December 14, 2010 10:50 am

Winners and losers in Lee aftermath

Cliff Lee What in the world of Mike Cuellar is going on?

By adding Cliff Lee to the already-potent Roy Halladay-Roy Oswalt-Cole Hamels top of the rotation, the Phillies potentially have the best top of the rotation since the Orioles had four 20-game winners in 1971 with Cuellar, Pat Dobson, Jim Palmer and Dave McNally.

It's certainly the best rotation since the mid-90s Braves that featured Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz, followed by someone like Steve Avery or Denny Neagle.

The bad news for the Phillies is that it wasn't starting pitching that let them down in October. It was not scoring enough runs against quality starting pitching from the Giants.

As for the offense, how has that changed? Jayson Werth, the team's best offensive player last season, is gone. Raul Ibanez and Placido Polanco are a year older -- and Jimmy Rollins seems to age two years for every year nowadays. He's not been the same player the last two years that he was before. There are also emerging questions about Chase Utley. And then there's Ryan Howard, who is still imposing in the lineup, but suddenly looks less protect and reminds people that he's 31 with fewer home runs than the year before in each of the last two seasons.

Still, ask most teams and they'd take their chances with Howard, Utley, Polanco and even roll the dice on whether Rollins will be happy, as long as they're behind a starting rotation for the ages, like the Phillies have accumulated.

The Phillies are the clear winner in this whole deal. Because even if there are chinks in the armor, it's still one heck of a suit of armor -- especially the sleeves.

For the Yankees, Andy Pettitte becomes that much more important to the Yankees. Pettitte has reportedly been mulling retirement, but is crucial to the team's rotation going forward. And if you think the Yankees feel bad about these developments, let's think about how the Mets feel having to be in the same division as Lee, Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels.

The Rangers, on other hand, were right all along. They could offer Lee comfort the Yankees couldn't match, and something he obviously valued in the end. However, the Phillies offered not only the pillow top mattress, but one he'd slept like a baby in before.

Texas also has a World Series-type team, but one without an ace. The Rangers weren't serious contenders until they pulled Lee from the Mariners last season, and now they're faced with the same problem months later.

The rivalry between New York and Boston means any time the Yankees lose, the Red Sox win and vice versa. The Red Sox, who have added Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez are better (no matter what Evan says ), and the Yankees aren't as good as expected -- so the Sox win.

The biggest winner in all this -- besides the Phillies and Lee -- could be the Royals. Kansas City is dangling a bona fide No. 1 starter in Zack Greinke. And don't think Andrew Friedman in Tampa isn't receiving calls on Matt Garza about right now. The prices on those two starters haven't gone down in the last 12 hours, that's for sure. If you're going to get one of those, you'll have to pay.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 12, 2010 9:30 pm

Additions of Crawford, Gonzalez not a cut above?

There's certainly cause for celebration in Boston these days, as the Red Sox have added Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to an incredibly deep lineup.

However, is the lineup any better than 2010, when Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre helped anchor it?

Check out the figures below for the players' 2010 seasons:

Victor Martinez 127 493 149 64 32 20 79 0.302 0.351 0.493 0.844
Adrian Beltre 154 589 189 84 49 28 102 0.321 0.365 0.553 0.919
Total 281 1082 338 148 81 48 181        
Carl Crawford 154 600 184 110 30 19 90 0.307 0.356 0.495 0.851
Adrian Gonzalez 160 591 176 87 33 31 101 0.298 0.393 0.511 0.904
Total 314 1191 360 197 63 50 191        

The bold numbers indicate who holds the edge in the categories in question.

So far, the new duo blows the old duo out of the water. More hits, runs and RBI by a comfortable margin. The one warning sign comes in home runs where Crawford/Gonzalez only lead by two but trail significantly in doubles.

There's one problem, though: while Crawford and Beltre both appeared in 154 games, there's quite a divide in games played by Gonzalez and Martinez. Gonzalez got to play in 160 while Martinez played in less thanks to being a catcher and missing time with injury. That limited V-Mart to just 127 games.

Let's look at the numbers again, but pro-rated over a full 162 games:

162-game projections G H R 2B HR RBI          
Victor Martinez 162 190 82 41 26 101          
Adrian Beltre 162 199 88 52 29 107          
Total 324 389 170 92 55 208          
Carl Crawford 162 194 116 32 20 95          
Adrian Gonzalez 162 178 88 33 31 102          
Total 324 372 204 65 51 197          

Now that changes things a bit.

There are a few caveats, however. First is the lack of impact defense has on this chart. Gonzalez and Crawford are Gold Glove-caliber players. Beltre is as well at third, but V-Mart certainly isn't a defensive catcher. In fact, Detroit plans to have him play the bulk of his time at DH.

In favor of Crawford and Gonzalez in this comparison is the fact that Gonzalez' power number should rise dramatically at Fenway. Crawford, too, may be able to get over the 20-home run hump that is causing many to scoff at such a lucrative deal for someone who has never hit 20 home runs. Given Crawford impacts the game in so many other ways and checked in with 19 home runs in 2010, it's a strange thing to scoff at.

In addition, it's no sure thing Martinez could repeat his numbers if he continued down the path of catching full-time, although he probably would have approximated his numbers once more in 2011. Beltre, on the other hand, has now turned in two sublime seasons in contract years and hasn't been a factor on offense otherwise. His volatility cannot be discounted.

Ah, but on the flip side, Martinez and Beltre both fill impact positions at catcher and third base. The former position is no easy feat to find above-average offensive production, while third base is important defensively and is no picnic to fill offensively.

First base and left field, on the other hand, are two of the easiest positions to find bats at -- and even defense, if one was so inclined. But defense at first and left is less important than other positions.

Will Beltre and Martinez outperform Crawford and Gonzalez next season offensively as well as defensively? Probably not, but the difference is a lot closer than one may think.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 11, 2010 7:33 pm

Video: Carl Crawford introduced at Fenway

Carl Crawford talks about his new gig in Boston:

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Posted on: December 11, 2010 3:31 pm

Epstein: Still room for Cameron

Mike Cameron Not only is Mike Cameron not a forgotten man now that the Red Sox have Carl Crawford, he was high on general manager Theo Epstein's priority list after the signing. Epstein told reporters Saturday that he called Cameron five minutes after signing Crawford to tell him there's still a place for him.

That place is as a really expensive fourth outfielder and injury insurance policy. He'll make $7.25 million in 2011 at age 38.

"Cam was really excited and the ultimate class guy and ultimate teammate," Epstein said. "He said, 'Whatever, whatever you guys need me to do to fit in this team, I'll do.' "

Boston's starting outfield -- Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury and J.D. Drew -- is entirely left-handed, and Cameron is right-handed, which should get him some opportunities against lefties. He's also versatile enough to play all three outfield positions, which makes him valuable as a replacement in case of injuries to the starters.

Epstein said he's not interested in trading Cameron, but you have to think if somebody called offering to take that salary off his hands, he'd listen.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: December 11, 2010 12:57 pm

Longoria open to career Rays deal

Evan Longoria
Maybe I'm a skeptic (OK, I'm definitely a skeptic), but Evan Longoria's comments in this St. Petersburg Times story seem ... let's call it "conveniently timed."

"Tampa Bay is the place I want to be for the rest of my career if I can," the Rays third baseman said. "If there's an opportunity to do something like that, I would think long and hard about it."

The story came out the day the Red Sox announced their monster signing of Carl Crawford, the most iconic player in the Rays' short history. The mantle of Rays cornerstone now passes to Longoria, the 25-year-old who has been an All-Star in each of his three seasons.

Is Longoria looking at the sense of loss being felt in Rays-ville and seeing an opportunity to improve on a contract he probably regrets signing?

Just six days after making his major-league debut in 2008, Longoria signed a contract with options that allow Tampa Bay to keep him through 2016, three years past what would have been his first year of free agency. That contract is a huge bargain for the team -- the maximum they would have to pay him is $44 million, for nine years. He made just $950,000 this year and would have been a Super Two this winter, making him arbitration-eligible. He'll earn $2.5 million next season, much less than he would have earned in arbitration, and he'll be a big bargain in his other would-be arbitration-eligible years as well.

That contract cost Longoria untold millions. So does he look at the monster $119 million extension recently signed by Troy Tulowitzki (described as Longoria's friend in the Times piece) and think a "lifetime" deal looks pretty good? No doubt. And if the Rays are in the mood to placate the fan base right about now, hey, nothing wrong with floating the idea.

-- David Andriesen

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