Carl Crawford Enters Contract Year

Rays executive Andrew Friedman will probably address Carl Crawford's contract situation next week, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  The 28-year-old outfielder is slated to earn $10MM in 2010 before he reaches free agency.  Rays owner Stuart Sternberg said on Friday, "We're going to do everything we can to make sure he stays here longer."

Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times spoke to Crawford, who would prefer not to negotiate during the season.  Crawford hopes to stay with the Rays, but also noted that "you go [to free agency] to be paid like the guys playing against you."

In a January article, ESPN's Buster Olney noted that Crawford "may turn out to be one of the big beneficiaries" of teams' increasing emphasis on defense.  Disciples of UZR might suggest Crawford is worth north of $15MM a year, potentially more than a quarter of the Rays' projected 2011 payroll.


77 Responses to Carl Crawford Enters Contract Year Leave a Reply

  1. Nejhaden 5 years ago

    I know it would be a long shot, but i wish the Braves could maneuver their roster so they could get this guy.

    • bbxxj 5 years ago

      Not that I woudn’t love to have Crawford I just don’t see it happening and here is why:

      1. I believe our 2011 leadoff hitter will be Schafer and he will be installed in CF with McLouth moving to LF and to the #2 hole or down to #6 or #7. A McLouth-Schafer-Heyward outfield would be one of the best defensive units in the game.

      2. Escobar, Jurrjens, Prado, and O’Flaherty all will be entering arbitration for the first time in 2011, McCann and McLouth both have built in raises, and Moylan, Diaz, and Cabrera will all be due arbitration raises. We also don’t have very much coming off the books in terms of expiring contracts in 2011. Unless we trade guys like McLouth, Cabrera, Diaz and/or Moylan I don’t see how we can afford Crawford in 2011 and even less likely in the following years when Jurrjens, Escobar, and McCann start getting pretty pricy.

      Our 2011 lineup should look like:

      1. Schafer CF
      2. McLouth LF
      3. Chipper 3B
      4. Heyward RF
      5. McCann C
      6. Escobar SS
      7. Freeman 1B
      8. Prado 2B

      I don’t see the absolute pressing need for Crawford though he would be very nice to have.

  2. rockiesfan_303 5 years ago

    I think he stays with the Rays and they unload Pena

    • leviticus6688 5 years ago

      Pena will almost certainly be gone regardless of what happens with with Crawford. They do at least have a top outfield prospect in Desmond Jennings waiting in the wings.
      It’ll be interesting to see what happens regardless since the Rays have said they want to get payroll below $60M for next year. It’ll obviously be higher than that if they resign Crawford.

    • leviticus6688 5 years ago

      Pena will almost certainly be gone regardless of what happens with with Crawford. They do at least have a top outfield prospect in Desmond Jennings waiting in the wings.
      It’ll be interesting to see what happens regardless since the Rays have said they want to get payroll below $60M for next year. It’ll obviously be higher than that if they resign Crawford.

  3. markjsunz 5 years ago

    Friedman wants to lower payroll by 10 million next according to a prior interview he gave a few weeks ago. The rays will not be able to afford Crawfords contract if Friedman holds true to his word. While the rays have some prized prospects down on the farm, most minor league guys never live up to there billing so Crawford will be hard to replace. The Rays should have a good year this year, but the Yankees are so loaded with talent they have to be the team to beat.

  4. switchhitingjesus 5 years ago

    Everyone knows the yankees and the redsoxs will be going hard after him if he enters free agency.

    • empathizerightonyourbehind 5 years ago

      i’m not sure where the sox have room, but i’m pretty sure this is the big reason the yanks didn’t go after holliday this winter.

      • BaseballFan0707 5 years ago

        It’s half the reason. The other half is that Cashman didn’t want to give another big long term contract out to Holliday.

        With Crawford, Cashman would probably feel far more comfortable giving him such a deal, because he fills the following needs:

        1) Leadoff Man
        2) Base-stealer extraordinaire
        3) Elite defender

        All going along with acceptable power. Holliday really didn’t offer the Yanks what they wanted/needed.

        • killarays 5 years ago

          Crawford has stated many times that he does not like the leadoff role. He actually does much better in the 2 hole anyway… Of course, big money can def change one’s mind about those things every now and then

          • BaseballFan0707 5 years ago

            Yeah, never take those things to heart. Damon always said it would be a cold day in hell before he’d become a Yankee. =)

          • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

            Before that it was stay with the Royals, then he wanted to stay with the A’s, then if he couldn’t be a Red Sox he wanted to end his career in KC…

          • leviticus6688 5 years ago

            Jeter has been batting leadoff since last year. Crawford would bat 2nd if he played in NY anyways.

          • killarays 5 years ago

            Of course, I was simply referring to the original comment that the Yankees want him as a lead-off hitter

          • leviticus6688 5 years ago

            Jeter has been batting leadoff since last year. Crawford would bat 2nd if he played in NY anyways.

        • empathizerightonyourbehind 5 years ago

          yeah, brian cashman really hates expensive, long-term contracts.

          • BaseballFan0707 5 years ago

            In the case of Matt Holliday, he was far more reluctant, as the team didn’t need another power outfield bat.

            Crawford is a speed guy, which the Yanks will have a desire for come him being a FA.

        • Ferrariman 5 years ago

          you want a guy with a lifetime .335 obp as your leadoff hitter?

          hell, he doesn’t even bat leadoff now for the rays.

          • BaseballFan0707 5 years ago

            he showed a bit more patience at the plate last year.

            But I suppose him batting number 2 fulfills the same need.

      • leviticus6688 5 years ago

        Agreed, they don’t have room with Cameron in CF and Ellsbury in LF now. I’d have been convinced the Red Sox would be after him if Cameron only signed for 1 year instead of 2. Unless they try to trade him or Drew, who are both signed through 2011, although I find that unlikely

        • empathizerightonyourbehind 5 years ago

          it’s true, but i suppose they did sign adrian beltre after they already had kevin youkilis, casey kotchman, mike lowell, and david ortiz. so any money-wasting scenario is possible.

        • empathizerightonyourbehind 5 years ago

          it’s true, but i suppose they did sign adrian beltre after they already had kevin youkilis, casey kotchman, mike lowell, and david ortiz. so any money-wasting scenario is possible.

          • leviticus6688 5 years ago

            True, I suppose it isn’t out of the question for Boston to sign him. I’m sure they’ll at least show some interest if the Yankees are bidding as well to drive up the price. Plus, a solid year for Drew makes him at least somewhat decent bait on the market despite a $14M salary. Crawford’s range would play well in RF in Fenway.

      • leviticus6688 5 years ago

        Agreed, they don’t have room with Cameron in CF and Ellsbury in LF now. I’d have been convinced the Red Sox would be after him if Cameron only signed for 1 year instead of 2. Unless they try to trade him or Drew, who are both signed through 2011, although I find that unlikely

  5. I smell a Mike Napoli for Carl Crawford trade near the deadline.

    • MLB_in_the_Know 5 years ago

      It would take much, much more than Mike Napoli to even discuss trading for Crawford.

      • empathizerightonyourbehind 5 years ago

        remember how much it took to get scott kazmir?

        • Juicebox 5 years ago

          I dont think 3 young unproven prospects is alot to give up for a 25 yr old proven top of the rotation pitcher. And I really dont think it would take much more than Napoli to acquire Crawford considering the Rays would be giving up a half season of Crawford for at least 1.5 seasons of Napoli whose power cant be matched by many at his position. Nothing against Crawford but there are plenty of speedy OF in the league but only a handful of C that can hit with Napoli’s power.

          • MLB_in_the_Know 5 years ago

            Carl Crawford is one of the top 10 PLAYERS in MLB. Half a season of him is worth much more than 1.5 seasons of Napoli. It’s not even close.

          • Juicebox 5 years ago

            If Crawford is one of the top 10 players in the MLB then why isn’t he ever mentioned in the MVP voting? Sounds like a Rays fan over valuing his own player.

          • MLB_in_the_Know 5 years ago

            First off, I am not a Rays fan. I am a Braves fan. I just have appreciation for great players.

            Secondly, MVP voting has nothing to do with being one of the top players in the game.

            MVP voters love HR and RBI statistics. Which yes, are nice, but are only part of the game. Crawford gives you everything else. Great defense, solid average and OBS, speed, stolen bases, and most importantly when he is on base he changes the game, the pitchers and defense focus on him on the base paths and not on the batter.

            If you ever watched him play, just watched him, you would know he is one of the top 10 players in the league. His statistics may not jump out at you, but… just watch him and you will know.

          • bjsguess 5 years ago

            I love Crawford but there is NO way he is a top 10 player. If you are building long-term for the future there are plenty of guys I would take in front of him. If you are building a championship team this year there are even more guys I take in front of him.

            Crawford is elite and will get a massive paycheck but he is not top 10 talent IMO.

            For what it’s worth – Crawford is definitely worth more than Napoli. It would be Napoli + + to get Crawford. Doesn’t make sense for the Angels and adding a 3rd catcher to Tampa doesn’t seem to the a smart move either.

          • bjsguess 5 years ago

            I love Crawford but there is NO way he is a top 10 player. If you are building long-term for the future there are plenty of guys I would take in front of him. If you are building a championship team this year there are even more guys I take in front of him.

            Crawford is elite and will get a massive paycheck but he is not top 10 talent IMO.

            For what it’s worth – Crawford is definitely worth more than Napoli. It would be Napoli + + to get Crawford. Doesn’t make sense for the Angels and adding a 3rd catcher to Tampa doesn’t seem to the a smart move either.

          • Juicebox 5 years ago

            I have seen him play many times and in person a few times. Crawford is great but I dont think he is a top 10 player. He is a top 10 OF but overall there are plenty of players that bring more to their teams than he does. He may be the best player the Rays have ever had in their system but his worst season statwise was the Rays best season.

          • Robert Gaito 5 years ago

            He is a great player, no doubt. But top 10? no way. He’s not even in the top ten best position players.

          • Robert Gaito 5 years ago

            He is a great player, no doubt. But top 10? no way. He’s not even in the top ten best position players.

          • Ferrariman 5 years ago

            im guessing you forgot who won the AL MVP in 07

            here’s a hint:

            17 home runs, 83 rbi’s

            yeah those numbers just jump off the page.

          • MLB_in_the_Know 5 years ago

            I am pretty sure A-Rod had more than 17 HRs and 83 RBI’s in 2007….but thanks for playing

          • Ferrariman 5 years ago

            damn it, i meant 08.

          • Ferrariman 5 years ago

            dunno why i typed 07..just a type-o

          • Juicebox 5 years ago

            Pedroia didnt have the power numbers but he hit .326 with 118 runs 54 doubles 20 sbs and won the gold glove and silver slugger that year so as much as it kills me to say it I would say he deserved his MVP award.

          • MLB_in_the_Know 5 years ago

            First off, I am not a Rays fan. I am a Braves fan. I just have appreciation for great players.

            Secondly, MVP voting has nothing to do with being one of the top players in the game.

            MVP voters love HR and RBI statistics. Which yes, are nice, but are only part of the game. Crawford gives you everything else. Great defense, solid average and OBS, speed, stolen bases, and most importantly when he is on base he changes the game, the pitchers and defense focus on him on the base paths and not on the batter.

            If you ever watched him play, just watched him, you would know he is one of the top 10 players in the league. His statistics may not jump out at you, but… just watch him and you will know.

          • leviticus6688 5 years ago

            It’s pretty silly to argue a player isn’t as good as another because of fewer MVP votes.
            I suppose you’d like to argue that Joe Carter was a hall of fame player next?

          • leviticus6688 5 years ago

            It’s pretty silly to argue a player isn’t as good as another because of fewer MVP votes.
            I suppose you’d like to argue that Joe Carter was a hall of fame player next?

          • Ferrariman 5 years ago

            im guessing your a rays fan?

            off the top of my head

            pujols
            mauer
            braun
            fielder
            utley
            hell, he isn’t even the best player on his own team:
            longoria
            zobrist..sort of depends how his next season matches up

            ..u said players,not position players
            halladay
            lincecum
            grienke

          • MLB_in_the_Know 5 years ago

            Ben Zorbist is really in your top 10 in the MLB? Really?

            Here is my Top 10.

            1) Pujols
            2) Hanley
            3) Mauer
            4) Utley
            5) Braun
            6) Timmy
            7) Kemp
            8) Braun
            9) Longoria
            10) Crawford

          • Ferrariman 5 years ago

            no fielder? no howard? no morneau? no teixeria? no HALLADAY?

            and if your a believer of the WAR stat, zobrist was the most valuable position player last year. probably a little missleading, but he did outperform crawford, again if your a believer of the WAR stat.

          • ARE U SERIOUS??? Did A-Rod just fall off the face of the planet??? Its sad when he had his worst year ever last year and he still put up 30/100…. Longoria would be top 15 position players not even overall. And Kemp had a great year last year, but thats it. I mean what about Mariano Rivera?? Yea, he is a closer, but hes the best at his position, ever. And no love for jeter??? I mean not everything is about fantasy stats here. Its how you play the game. Jeter was in the MVP race this past year and other years and he doesnt hit a lot of homers, so whatever moron put MVP only goes to homers…. nothing else needs to be said. pitchers get mentioned for MVP honors. i think texy needs to be up there. in the elite defense 1st base class with pujols and he has a great stick, better average than howard.

          • bocotty 5 years ago

            Alright Yankee fan get off the wagon and look at other players other than players on the Yankmees.

          • yeah i agree with ferrariman, halladay needs to be up there. hes racked up so many complete games, shutouts, and a lot of wins considering hes played with a non contender his whole life. he also piles up a decent amount of k’s while always in the top 5 for era and whip.

          • empathizerightonyourbehind 5 years ago

            yep, that’s my point.

      • R_y_a_n 5 years ago

        Completely disagree, considering Crawford’s only got this last year on his contract. I don’t think the Angels would make that deal, considering their outfield depth and need for a catcher.

        • considering he will be a type a free agent crawford will cost WAY more than napoli

        • crashcameron 5 years ago

          let’s trt Napoli and Kendrick for Crawford
          if the Angels were smart — and they aren’t, really — they’d go for it now.
          Their outfield depth? They’ve got Hunter (who might be nearing the down edge), Rivera (an average-good LF) and two DHs (Abreu and Matsui).
          Even with Gold Glove Torii, this is a lower-level outfield D.
          Maybe they should try for Upton, but Crawford would replace/improve Figgins’ numbers in the batting order.

    • BaseballFan0707 5 years ago

      Thanks for the laugh.

  6. MLB_in_the_Know 5 years ago

    There isn’t a single team in the MLB that wouldn’t want Crawford on their team. He does everything you could ask (except the fact he doesn’t particularly like leading off).

    As much as I would LOVE to see my Braves sign him. We can’t afford him. He will sign with the Detroit Tigers this off season. Mark my words. Detroit Tigers.

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      Well Dayton Moore seems to make sketchy moves for the Royals…

    • Infield Fly 5 years ago

      “There isn’t a single team in the MLB that wouldn’t want Crawford on their team.”

      Yes…nor a single fan base. And while the LF scramble is over in Flushing, I would much rather see Crawford out there than Bay any day. I don’t care how big a bat we get, I always need a solid glove to go with it.

  7. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    If Upton rebounds and the organization likes Jennings, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Crawford being offered up at the deadline for any holes rather than for prospects. Though even though it would be great to see him in a Sox uniform, I’m quietly hoping the Rays hold on to him to keep the division interesting.

  8. InLeylandWeTrust 5 years ago

    well looks like the yanks will get him if he wants to get paid like everyone else

    • Probally sign a contract for 8-10 years with them at 18-25 per if he can increase his power and speed like I have seen him do here in tampa since day one. He will be a young Barry Bonds type LF for many years without the enhancements or the cloud of suspicion.

      • bjsguess 5 years ago

        He’s faster than a young Bonds but doesn’t have near the power.

  9. Nejhaden 5 years ago

    If we were to get him, then we could expend 2 or 3 of (McClouth, Schafer, Diaz, and Cabrera). Probally McClouth and Cabrera. They would clear up the most money.

  10. Being a LF, should his great UZR really be that big of a deal? Being compared to some of the bodies that get put out in LF doesn’t necessarily mean you are a great fielder, it just means you’re that much better of a LF than the defensive liabilities some teams throw out there.

    I still think he’s worth a good amount based on his offensive value, but there are a good amount of players in this league that if you shifted from RF or CF to LF you’d see their UZR’s shoot up, just b/c of who they are being compared to.

  11. Warde 5 years ago

    Carl wont be going anywhere.

    Before he is dealt, here is the list of guys to go first:
    1 Soriano
    2 Pena
    3 Bartlett
    4 Burrell (down here due to lack of demand)
    Carl’s contract dollars will be freed up by dealing these guys.

    He will remain the face of the franchise and will help us get a new stadium.

    • bjsguess 5 years ago

      What good does it do to lose those 4 guys just to keep Crawford?

    • bjsguess 5 years ago

      What good does it do to lose those 4 guys just to keep Crawford?

  12. As a Fan of the Rays I keep reading, hearing that the Rays are having financial problems.
    They even saying that their above payroll this year and are cutting payroll next year. I think It would be better to trade him now and save 10 million and get better players in return. They have Desmond to take over LF already. Trade him now Rays he will leave as a Free Agent.

  13. Worth more than $15 per!? Come on Buster, here’s the problem right here these top analysts start tweeting and talking about how this player is worth all this money, and that player starts to believe it. Crawford is 28 yrs old, only has one year of playoff experience, and is still considered a young star in the MLB. He is a great player don’t get me wrong but wont give you the RBI’s or the dingers, doesnt have an awesome on base %, and still has a lot to learn about the hitter’s game. Carl’s a great defender coming off his first contract which he got about an avg. of $4 mil per and now all the sudden he’s worth $15 its real ridiculous. I could really talk about this all day, so I’ll just say this. You got to compare this player to others around the league and in the end i feel the right deal for a carl crawford, at this point in his career, would be a 4 yr $44 mil possibly with an option.

  14. Crawford will be a Yankee by the end of July. Write it down.

  15. Infield Fly 5 years ago

    Besides…the baserunning….imagining both him and Reyes on the basepaths for the Mets is enough to make me giddy.

  16. Infield Fly 5 years ago

    Talent and transactions aside, as we plot and scheme about Crawford there are at least 25 other teams whose fan base are doing the same (but probably all 29). Given the Mets’ image in the past year or so, I wonder what shot we would really have at a guy like Crawford? Even if things were to turn around for the Mets, it will take time before the media consented to take its foot off our neck. They’re just having too much fun right now.

  17. Infield Fly 5 years ago

    I have to take player claims of being unfazed by the media with a grain of salt, as enough of them have had noticeable reactions to things reported about them, not to mention getting news about transactions concerning them, from it. They’re not that unmoved. Still, you may have a point that the influence may not be that strong.

    The other question in my mind is what kind of impressions former players might share with each other. We already saw J.J. Putz throw the front office under the bus in front of the cameras. Who else might have a more private beef? I have even more reason to wonder because media aside, a few people who worked for the organization have let some things slip, much of which really wasn’t good.

    Anyway, this is more than just about Crawford, but I wonder…

  18. Infield Fly 5 years ago

    Well in the end, where it comes to Carl Crawford, maybe we don’t “gotta believe,” but we can hope!

  19. Infield Fly 5 years ago

    😀

  20. The #Rays play in the AL East. They wont be in the race and will be trading Crawford to the #Yankees before the end of July.

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