Discussion: Crawford Or Upton?

When the Rays traded Scott Kazmir, their projected '10 payroll dropped to about $70MM. Prior to the season, owner Stuart Sternberg indicated that next season's payroll would be similar to this year's opening day payroll of $63MM. Declining Akinori Iwamura's $4.25MM option would get the payroll in that neighborhood. However, there is still a chance the Rays could try to move Carl Crawford, who will be entering the final year of his deal, or B.J. Upton, who will be arbitration-eligible this offseason for the first time. Moving one the outfielders could open up a spot for Desmond Jennings, who hit a combined .318/.401/.487 with 52 stolen bases between double-A and triple-A.

So, if you were the Rays, which outfielder would you move and if you were the GM of another club, which player would you rather have?

Tale of the tape…

Carl Crawford

  • Will be 28 next season
  • Currently hitting .302/.357/.445 with 57 steals
  • Next year will be the final year of his contract. He will make $10-11.5MM based on escalators.
  • Ken Rosenthal thinks Rays may prefer to move Crawford with Upton's value currently low.
  • Jayson Stark wrote that the Rays may be able to keep Crawford after moving Kazmir's contract.

B.J. Upton

  • Will be 25 next season
  • Currently hitting .233/.304/.363 with 10 home runs and 37 steals.
  • Will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this off-season.
  • Buster Olney heard that the Rays will listen to offers for Upton.
  • Several teams contacted the Rays last off-season about acquiring Upton.

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