Potential Suitors For Carl Crawford

There's a whole lot to like about Carl Crawford's game. He can hit, as his .302/.356/.485 line shows. He has stolen 38 bases (47 attempts) and his defense is tremendous. He has a higher UZR/150 than any qualified major leaguer, not that most fans or scouts need statistical confirmation that Crawford's play in left field is excellent. And Crawford, who turned 29 yesterday, will likely play in 140 or more games for the seventh time in eight seasons this year.

Critics might suggest that his speed is likely to fade, point to his relatively low walk rate and claim that he's having a career year, but nearly half the teams in baseball could have interest in the four-time All-Star when he hits free agency this winter despite any perceived question marks. So let's speculate on some potential suitors, with teams' 2011 payroll commitments in parentheses:

  • Yankees ($141.6MM) – Hey, Brett Gardner, Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson are nice players, but are they enough to prevent the Yanks from pursuing Crawford? GM Brian Cashman, who pursued Cliff Lee, Dan Haren and Adam Dunn before the trade deadline, likes elite players and the Yankees can afford them.
  • Red Sox ($94.1MM) – Here's another team that can afford big-time players. The Red Sox have Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Cameron and J.D. Drew under team control next year plus an option for David Ortiz. They can also call on Daniel Nava and Darnell McDonald or prospects like Josh Reddick and Ryan Kalish. Those players may stand between the Red Sox and Crawford, but let's not rule Boston out.
  • Angels ($92.5MM) – Peter Gammons suggested last month that signing Crawford will be the Angels' top priority this winter. They figure to be strong bidders.
  • Rays ($16.3MM) – The Rays are lowering payroll in 2011 and it will be difficult for them to pay Crawford market value unless they compromise the rest of their roster. Tampa Bay does not appear to be a serious contender to sign Crawford, but they could get creative and keep him.
  • Blue Jays ($35.5MM) – The Blue Jays have outfielders Vernon Wells, Travis Snider and Jose Bautista, but they could move the latter to third base to make room for Crawford. Adam Lind could be playing first base in 2011, which would open up the DH spot. Crawford knows as well as anyone that the AL East is a tough place to win, so he's not likely to give the Jays any discounts.
  • White Sox ($73.4MM) – Let's not rule the White Sox out, even though their entire outfield (Juan Pierre, Alex Rios and Carlos Quentin) is under team control in 2011.
  • Tigers ($54.2MM) – The Tigers have lots of money coming off the books and Crawford could be a fit in spacious Comerica Park.
  • Braves ($58.2MM) – The Braves have Nate McLouthMelky Cabrera, Matt Diaz and Jason Heyward under team control, but they showed interest in outfielders at the trade deadline, so it wouldn't be surprising to see them pursue Crawford.
  • Nationals ($22.4MM) – Josh Willingham has become a fixture in left field, but the Nats have pursued free agents aggressively, bidding on Mark Teixeira and signing Jason Marquis, Ivan Rodriguez and Matt Capps
  • Padres ($1.1MM) – Imagine Crawford and Tony Gwynn Jr. (second among all qualified major leaguers in UZR/150) patrolling Petco Park – I'm sure Padres GM Jed Hoyer has. Unlike some of the teams above, the Padres have committed a ridiculously low amount to their 2011 payroll, so they could surprise people and pursue Crawford.
  • Giants ($74MM) – The Giants also showed interest in outfielders leading up to the trade deadline, so they might see Crawford as a potential long-term solution in left. 
  • Dodgers ($49.2MM) – Manny Ramirez's contract will be coming off the books, so the Dodgers could look to replace him with Crawford. That would give the Dodgers a star-powered outfield, but until their ownership situation becomes more stable, the team won't necessarily be able to make a nine-figure commitment to any free agent.
  • Reds ($36.1MM) – The Reds are by no means the favorite to sign Crawford, but GM Walt Jocketty should have some payroll flexibility this winter.

Thanks for Cot's Baseball Contracts, Baseball-Reference and Dave Rutt of BattersBox.ca.


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207 Comments on "Potential Suitors For Carl Crawford"


Ferrariman
5 years 25 days ago

going with tigers. they have like…60million dollars coming off the books. their also my sleeper pick for cliff lee.

Dave_Gershman
5 years 25 days ago

Could be. And I’ve been telling people all along, the Tigers are going to be the Mariners of this coming off-season. Making a ton of moves but i think the Tigers are and will be better than the Mariners. DD has always been gutsy with his moves and I could see him signing or trading for an OF, 2 RP, SP, SS, 3B, and C. I really think he’s going to go all out this off-season.

Ferrariman
5 years 25 days ago

just eyeballing things…if crawford signs for 15mil/yrbeltre for 12mil/yrLee for 19mil/yrand a pitcher like ted lilly/jake westbrook for 7mil/yr…that could drastically improve the tigers. and they have the money coming off the books to do it.

Dave_Gershman
5 years 25 days ago

No question about it they have a ton of money coming off the books.

what about this.

Crawford, 5yrs/$90MM.
Beltre 3yrs/$42mm
trade Brayan Villareal and Charles Furbush for Ricky Nolasco.
Sign Jorge De La Rosa 2yrs/$16MM
Sign Jesse Crain 2 yrs/$7MM
trade Andy Oliver and Daniel Fields for Kelly Johnson.

So that could be adding 60 Mil to next years payroll but subtracting more than that off of this years. plus you add in the arb eligibles.

Again, just eyeballing/speculating.

Ferrariman
5 years 25 days ago

kelly johnson isn’t worth andy oliver alone, let alone with another prospect

Dave_Gershman
5 years 25 days ago

Uhh. He’s pretty good. Id give up just Oliver even. But he’s really good.

Ferrariman
5 years 25 days ago

take a look at the home/road splits. their pretty ugly.

garettf
5 years 25 days ago

In case you haven’t noticed, Detroit is not the city that players just flock to go to. Plus, the Yankees, Sox, and Mets still will probably offer more to guys like Beltre, De la Rosa, and Crawford. Yea it’s definitely possible to get one of that group plus other role players, but if you think that all these guys are going to flock to Detroit then your crazy. I’ve been to Detroit, aside from the sporting arena area, it is not looking too great over there.

Ferrariman
5 years 25 days ago

remind me again why the yankees and mets would offer ANYTHING to beltre? i guess you’ve never heard of alex rodriguez or david wright?

and i believe the redsox already said they want beltre at “Their price” which means he could very well walk in free agency.

BaseballFanatic0707
5 years 25 days ago

They should be willing to give Beltre what he wants, since he’s the answer at 3B for them, unless the guy they drafted this year really makes big time strides in a year.

IHateJoeBuck
5 years 25 days ago

A dream would be the following:

Crawford $17M (5yr/$85M)
Beltre $13M (3yr/$39M)
Lilly $8M (2yr/$16M)
+resign Bonderman at much less than he makes this year
+a catcher, whether Laird of another FA

The problem is Dombrowski has signed 1 FA to a multi-year deal (Valverde) as Tigers GM. Also, who knows how long Mike Illitch wants to sustain a $125M payroll. Yeah they have nearly $60M coming of the books, but they might reduce payroll to a more reasonable level.

Also, as much as I love Crawford and think he’d be a great fit for the Tigers, I just don’t think it’ll happen. We know the Yankees and Angels (and many others) covet him. If the Tigers offered 5yr/$85M, the Yankees could easily come in with a 6yr/$120M offer. What incentive does Crawford have to come to Detroit other than money, which the Yankees and Angels could/would top?

5 years 25 days ago

Hey bud Crawford will probably sign for more than 15 mil a year and your projection for Ted Lilly is prob a little off as well.

5 years 8 days ago

redsox totally, without a doubt they need crawford

Dave_Gershman
5 years 25 days ago

I love the idea of him going to the Jays or Nats. I don’t think thats where he’s going. I thougt the Gigates were the favorite, but after what we saw Brian Sabean do with Holliday, Bay, Manny, and others over the years only to sign Aaron Rowand, Sabean won’t get him.

Now that the Rangers ownership is set, I think they could be a match. And of course the Yankees. Ken Rosenthal suggested the Astros, but no. The Reds would be a great fit and I would love that. Maybe. The Angels put CC’s all-star game locker next to Torii’s. Maybe.

I’m going to make a gutsy guess here. Padres.

ronny9
5 years 25 days ago

Texas has their outfield under contract for quite some time; the last thing they need is an OFer. They want Hamilton at a corner spot so they’re not likely to trade Bourbon to put Hamilton back in center and sign Crawford.

They have a tremendous offense as is; If they had Cliff lee all year this year they would have an 11 game lead right now. They need to (and they know this) focus on spending any possible payroll flexibility that they have on starting pitching. They probably won’t get to keep Lee beyond this year as he will look for the highest bidder; but 100Million is not best spent by the Rangers on a leftfielder. As good as he might be.

Dave_Gershman
5 years 25 days ago

Actually no. They had envsioned signing Carl Crawford and have a DH by commitee because of the amount of pressure Borbon, Andurs, and CC could put on the opposing pitcher from 9, 1, and 2. You’ll see them make a push.

5 years 25 days ago

Really?!?!? Vlad is a DH by comittee!?!?!? He has a mutual option for next season, and he loves it here.

Borbon has been pipped by David Murphy, by the way. Borbon isn’t even our CF of the future, he is a stop gap until Engel Beltre is ready. We will see him next year.

Dave_Gershman
5 years 25 days ago

He isn’t a stop gap for Engel Beltre. I’m saying there is a chnce that if Vladimir goes, they have a DH by commitee

5 years 25 days ago

Borbon’s only asset is speed. He is not a good base stealer or base runner.

He has a low OB%, extremely weak arm, doesn’t get good jumps on fly balls, and Washington has red lighted him indefinately on the basepaths.

I have watched every MLB game the kid has played.

Engel Beltre is a five tool player, and our midseason #1 prospect. His power will continue develop as he gets stronger, and learns to pull the ball. He is just as fast as Borbon, has a better arm, and isn’t a singles hitter with a low OB%.

His minor league numbers at the same level, despite being 5 years younger, are better than Borbon in almost every category.

Beltre has a Carlos Beltran ceiling. Borbon has a Denard Span ceiling, but more than likely will be a Juan Pierre with less SB’s. His arm and instincts will not allow him to be a CF long term…he will move to LF.

So yes, he is a stop gap for Beltre.

Dave_Gershman
5 years 25 days ago

Terrible on base, yes, but a good hitter, base stealer (not baserunner)

5 years 25 days ago

He makes outs on the basepaths, and has been picked off on 1B several times.

He is a good hitter if you think a .269 avg. and .350 slugging % are good.

Give it up.

Dave_Gershman
5 years 25 days ago

sluging has nothing to do with what I’m talking about. Ichiro never has a high slugging. Yes he is a good hitter. Now if you will stop being so hard headed, back to Crawford, the Rangers will make a play.

5 years 25 days ago

Do not compare Borbon to Ichiro. In Julio’s wildest dreams he cannot see himself being Ichiro. This is getting rediculous.

BWOzar
5 years 25 days ago

Borbon has been pretty terrible (0.9 WAR in 317 PAs). Crawford is a superb defensive player – far better than Hamilton – and would play CF without question in Texas’ OF. Crawford is originally from Texas too, which doesn’t hurt the Rangers’ chances.

5 years 25 days ago

My Rangers will not be in play for Crawford. Just because we got new ownership doesn’t mean we will spend exorbinantly on FA and shift our approach from buliding from the ground up.

Hamilton will be a FA after next season, and that money will be needed to re-sign him.

Our off-season priorities will be either trying to re-sign Cliff Lee (which I am 95% sure won’t happen), or adding an Ace to replace him through a trade.

If Lee bounces, JD will go heavy at Greinke. He has the prospects to make it happen.

Dave_Gershman
5 years 25 days ago

I’m guessing you don’t read articles or listen to ownership Interviews.

5 years 25 days ago

The last thing we can afford is to get into bidding wars on FA, which is why we won’t re-sign Lee. We are built on our scouting department and development.

JD will be more than happy to stick to what has gotten him this far. He will add key pieces here and there through trades, where we virtually monopolize the market in prospects.

Getting into bidding wars ensures that you will have to throw in extra years, and pay players more than they worth, once they are past their prime. Unless you have a rediculous market and budget, it is unsustainable. We have neither.

5 years 25 days ago

There has been ONE article and ONE writer that has speculated Crawford to the Rangers. Don’t come weak like that son.

Dave_Gershman
5 years 25 days ago

And what makes you think that there is a 0 chance they sign him?

5 years 25 days ago

It is funny that you believe everything that you read on MLBtraderumors. 98% of rumors are false.

If the story had any legs, more than ONE writer would have been on the case.

It was an overzealous sportswriter making a SPECULATION based on the fact that Crawford was born in Texas. No credible source has ran with that.

Dave_Gershman
5 years 25 days ago

You don’t know how much I believe. Come on man. You know that I’m not as stupid as today and yesterday gave suggested. Come on. There is so much more of a chance than you are saying.

5 years 25 days ago

If MLB trade rumors doesn’t even list Texas as a possible destination for Crawford, and they ran the link to the original speculative article (only because they do that for everything on the web, it is what they do) what does that tell you?

Dave_Gershman
5 years 25 days ago

It tells me that you are desperate to keep hearing from me. I think their would he plenty of other suitors that they didn’t mention, not to say they did a bad job or anything though.

5 years 25 days ago

Would I like to have CC in a Texas uni….absolutely. But, we cannot afford him.

Would you like to drive a Ferrari? My guess would be yes. Can you afford it? My guess would be no.

Dave_Gershman
5 years 25 days ago

I don’t want to drive a Ferrari and I don’t have my drivers lisence either. The only thing I can afford right now is to go see Buster olney, which is where I am going now. Ferrariman wants a Ferrari, but that’s a different story. If they can afford cliff lee and he goes elsewhere and if CC is still on the market, they make an offer.

5 years 25 days ago

No, If we don’t get Cliff we will try and trade for Grienke and use that money on signing him to an extension.

We will save the money on Crawford and try to sign Hamilton to an extension, as he is a FA after this season.

If you don’t have a drivers liscence I am assuming you are young. Since you are young I’m going to teach a quick lesson, money doesn’t grow on trees and you have to spend it wisely.

Take it easy and give Buster my regards.

PS: the last thing you ever want to do is argue about the Rangers with me, if you expect to win. If you are arguing to become educated on the Rangers, I commend you.

Dave_Gershman
5 years 25 days ago

Okay fine. Hat tip.

Dylan
5 years 25 days ago

Hamilton isn’t a FA unitl 2013.

5 years 25 days ago

JD said yesterday on the radio, that he is a FA in 2012.

Time for some fact checking.

5 years 25 days ago

Not saying you need to check your facts. I’m going to look into it.

Dylan
5 years 25 days ago

According to Cot’s he’s in Arb 3 in 2012…so AFTER 2012, or BEFORE 2013…he is a FA

Guest
5 years 25 days ago

Oh, okay, then I take that back.

5 years 25 days ago

Yeah man. That was one of those cases where it sounded bad after I saw it. It was not intended that way.

Thanks for the fact checking.

Dylan
5 years 25 days ago

No prob, and by the way…Us Phillies fans are pulling for your Rangers to make it to the WS. We all love and respect Cliff Lee and wish you guys the best, that is of course if the Phillies play the Rangers, haha.

5 years 25 days ago

Nice, we are just pulling to finally win a playoff series….lol.

5 years 25 days ago

*I meant next season in regards to Hamilton…not this season. Typo.

I have stated in all my other posts that this is the case. I didn’t proofread.

5 years 25 days ago

Coincidentally, including MLBtraderumors.

5 years 25 days ago

Also, everything I have stated leads me to believe WE CANNOT AFFORD HIM.

5 years 25 days ago

We are not a big market club, and thinking that way is what got us into BANKRUPTCY!

Of course JD is going to say that he will try to sign Cliff. He has to to appease the fans.

The reality of the matter is that the bidding will start at 6140 and end at 7-8180-200. WE CAN”T AFFORD THAT. We have tried it once with A-Rod, and that is the main reason Hicks no longer owns the team.

He will take the two first round compensation picks, try to replace Smoak and Beavan with those, and make a play for an Ace that he will not have to get into a bidding war for. His currency in bidding wars will be prospects not $$$. Where he has the edge.

We are not going to pay Cliff Lee a third of what we just paid for the entire franchise.

5 years 25 days ago

Any other what you think are snappy, ill advised comments?

Sniderlover
5 years 25 days ago

I would love to have Crawford on the Jays but the fact there would be so many teams interested when he hits the open market would require a severe massive overpayment and I’m not sure if I want another Wells-type contract.

Angels and Detroit are probably the best fit for Crawford.

Encarnacion's Parrot
5 years 25 days ago

How many times have you seen Anthopolous come up short on getting the player he wants? I can only recall once – Chapman – and even then he reportedly had the second-best offer on the table.

I think that if he likes the idea of Crawford on the Jays, he’s going to push for the signing. AA’s pretty tight-lipped so obviously you won’t hear much in the way of interest right now.

johnsmith4
5 years 24 days ago

I have a different opinion….it is well worth over paying for a player like Crawford….He is a top of the order batter and a game changer….imagine having a batting order of Crawford, Escobar, Bautista, Wells, Lind, Hill, Snider, Arencibia, and Hechavarria (or Encarnarcion)

55saveslives
5 years 25 days ago

Would love the Giants to get him but I’m sure he’ll sign with the Yankees and be paid ridiculously and use the quote, “It’s not about the money”

BWOzar
5 years 25 days ago

Didn’t the Sox already DFA Hermida on 7/31?

pt_nj
5 years 25 days ago

Yup

$1519287
5 years 25 days ago

Good call. Thanks.

5 years 25 days ago

Inspite of Gardner being brilliant, I see the Yankees taking him. Trading Gardner in the offseason after his career year would be the move they’ll make. In this way they can get decent prospects and after that get Crawford.

BWOzar
5 years 25 days ago

The underlying numbers show that pretty much all of Gardner’s production this year is sustainable and, more importantly, he’s extremely cheap. If there were to make a move for a Crawford (or Werth – who would be a better fit because they need a righty bat more than a lefty), Granderson would be the player to go.

5 years 25 days ago

Co-sign.

Don’t care for the Yanks, but Gardner is legit.

pt_nj
5 years 25 days ago

Not sure how you come to that conclusion(re: Gardner), but a left handed outfielder who’d going to hit 10 HRs playing in Yankee stadium is fairly plain-jane. He’s a nice compliment to the Yankees high priced talent, but on a normal team he would be average.

BWOzar
5 years 25 days ago

Gardner ranks 36th among hitters in all of baseball in WAR (ahead of Jayson Werth, Prince Fielder, Ichiro, Torii Hunter and Carlos Gonzalez just to name a few) and makes, basically, the league minimum. He is 13th in WAR among OFs. He is under team control through the 2014 season and has a skill set not properly valued by arbitrators which will keep his annual salaries low. His contact rate, walk rate, BABIP and slightly increased LD% all indicate that his season has been legitimate and not an aberration.

Frankly, I would be shocked if Gardner EVER hits 10 non-inside-the-park home runs in a season in his entire career – but his value comes from his ability to get on base nearly 40% of the time, to steal bases at an extremely high success rate and to play fantastic defense.

5 years 25 days ago

Don’t forget scoring runs…he is pretty good at that as well.

BWOzar
5 years 25 days ago

Much like RBIs that’s not really a skill he controls though, it’s a function of his place in a superb lineup, his OBP and the fact that he is an above average (and fast) base runner.

5 years 25 days ago

He does control his OBP and and the fact that he is an above average (and fast) base runner.

This leads to more runs than most players, regardless of who is knocking him in.

pt_nj
5 years 25 days ago

Understood – my feeling is that Gardner is the type of player that does well in a stacked lineup, which is why he’s probably more valuable in a Yankees linup versus say the Cleveland Indians, Royals, Giants, etc

Sleepykarl
5 years 25 days ago

But Michael Kay gave him the Ichiro narrative that he could hit more HRs if he wanted to!

BWOzar
5 years 25 days ago

Also to make a simple, non-WAR based argument, I think fans who care and don’t care for advanced stats can agree that Ichiro Suzuki is a fantastic baseball player. Gardner is, basically, imitating the skill set Suzuki has shown for the last decade. Obviously, Gardner has a hell of a long way to go to even be in the conversation with a surefire hall of famer like Ichiro – but he brings an incredibly similar style of play and allocation of value to the table and is out-Ichiroing Ichiro this year.

theyankeefanatic
5 years 25 days ago

i hope they do pick up Crawford…i think they should trade Granderson in a package with Eduardo Nunez and Iva Nova for Hanely Ramirez…so that the Yanks can start adjusting for the future…Jeter could be brought back as a super utility/dh…

BWOzar
5 years 25 days ago

Um…..always glad to talk to a fellow Yankee fan…. but even suggesting that trade makes all Yankee fans look stupider. I think there’s a decent chance the Marlins would (understandably) turn down an offer of Montero, Hughes and Granderson for Ramirez. Hanley is one of the most valuable players in all of baseball as he is signed to a below market deal through 2014 and Florida is soon to open a new ballpark in downtown Miami where Hanley is seen as the centerpiece of that team.

BWOzar
5 years 25 days ago

Also, Jeter isn’t coming back as a ‘super utility/dh’

pt_nj
5 years 25 days ago

Yanks will get second tier prospects for Gardner. He’s had one good year but has not proved himself as anything more than a marginal talent. However, that would not stop the Yankees from trading him and signing Crawford. Or maybe they trade Swisher and have Crawford/Granderson/Gardner? Hard to believe that one year after 500M for Burnett/Sabathia/Texiera they’ll spend another several hundred million on Crawford/Cliff Lee.

BWOzar
5 years 25 days ago

Yanks will not trade Gardner for 2nd tier prospects (or at all, barring an astounding offer). If they move an OF it will be Granderson.

pt_nj
5 years 25 days ago

Agreed – Granderson has a higher ceiling.

BWOzar
5 years 25 days ago

I believe most players peak is roughly at their age 27 season (Granderson is at his age 29 season now). He has gotten to the point where he has, basically, proven himself as incapable of hitting lefties with any sort of consistentency. While he has significantly more power than Gardner, he’s an inferior defensive player, base runner and is worse at what I feel is the most important skill a player can bring to the table – not making outs. I say without any hesitation that for next year, or the rest of their careers, I’d rather have Gardner than Granderson, which is kind of sad because Granderson’s 2007 season was one of the coolest in recent years (23 homers, 23 triples, 26 SBs).

BaseballFanatic0707
5 years 25 days ago

Considering how 500 million dollars was not spent all in one offseason, you should un-find it hard to believe.

You’re smarter than that. The average person understands that a person’s contract is not paid up-front.

pt_nj
5 years 25 days ago

No – but having 700M committed to 5 players is why baseball’s financial house is broken.

BWOzar
5 years 25 days ago

I was going to make some long winded response here but instead I’ll make two small points.1. Baseball revenues are at an all time high.2. Baseball parity is at an all time high as well. 8 different champions in the last decade.

pt_nj
5 years 25 days ago

This is usually an argument made by a Yankee fan. As I mentioned in a previous post, it’s all about getting to the playoffs. Once in the playoffs any team can ride hot pitching over a short series and do some damage. However, teams that are out spent end up losing their young talent and can not compete for the playoffs every year. Look at the Indians(close to the WS in 2007), the Marlins(won WS but then blew up their team), the Blue Jays, and TB is looking at losing several of their best players. These lower spending teams have to trade away their young players because they know they will not be able to outspend the Yankees, Red Sox, etc. So you get fans in these cities who don’t support their teams. I don’t blame the Rays fans for not coming out when they know in 2 or 3 years they’ll be in the basement again. So what you have is a handfull(8-10) of franchises that have the money to spend. And a bunch of teams that are 2nd tier revenue teams that may make the playoffs once every 7 or 8 years.

If baseball wants to continue down this road, they should just contract the 10 teams with the lowest revenues and get on with it(Pirates, KC, TB, Clev, Flor, SD, Mil, Hou, Wash, ARZ, COL, etc) .

$3081341
5 years 25 days ago

Believe me I know how you feel. Having a team that flat out refuses to spend $$$$. Not that that always works (but on the off chance it does), why not? You can still have a deep/competitive farm system & have a good M.L. club at the same time. Teams like Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Florida, Minnesota, Arizona, Washington, Seattle, etc. If there’s no limit to how much you can spend, why not. Quite being pansies & start forkin’ out some serious coin. All fans wanna see their teams keep their core players. T.B. should be able to sign Soriano, Pena, & Crawford but that won’t happen because their solely committed to building the best farm system in all of baseball. Not to mention they desperately need a new open air stadium (without a roof). But will they get one, probably not.

pt_nj
5 years 25 days ago

Well – in a perfect world Tampa would keep all their core players, but the thing that drives economics in the baseball world is local TV revenue. NY metro has a local population of 20M people, Tampa/St Pete is around 2M people. The NYY total revenue/year is almost 400M whereas the Tampa Rays revenue is about 150M. Subtract from that operating costs(travel, stadium payments, personnel, etc) and you probably have something in the order of 100M for Tampa to spend on players where the Yankees could spend at least double and still be making money. Thus – the Yanks go after anyone they want and the Rays need to make tough decisions, hope their farm system works out and they don’t have any injuries. I love the NFL model that rewards teams for good drafts, good trades and well run organizations, vs the MLB where it’s a caste system that rewards the robber baron Yankees.

Sleepykarl
5 years 25 days ago

Time for 8 different teams to win
10 years NFL
9 years NHL and MLB
30 years NBA

Would a salary cap really create more competition?

jaydestro
5 years 25 days ago

if cashman doesn’t like what he got out of granderson, would not be shocking to see him moved… then to move gardner into CF full time and crawford in left.

but i think that’s short-sighted and less likely to happen unless granderson really falls flat.

5 years 25 days ago

Ellsbury, or Crawford.. hmmmmmmmmmmmm slam dunk! Crawford!

Fangaffes
5 years 25 days ago

Both. Having those two on the basepaths would drive opposing pitchers insane. The distraction would provide lots better pitches for other batters to hit.

ZeroZeroZero
5 years 25 days ago

I dont know how much long term money you want to put on a guy who is turning 30 whose main asset is his speed. Legs get old quickly in many cases.

IHateJoeBuck
5 years 25 days ago

Even if/when his speed regresses, his floor his a 100/15/75/25/.300 player. Defense wouldn’t be as good if he lost speed, but he would still be above average. Still very valuable.

ZeroZeroZero
5 years 25 days ago

Im not saying he will be worthless, just that I think he will be seeing a lot of 3-5 year offers and not many 5-7 year offers. If his legs go he becomes pretty average. His defense will take a hit and his average/obp will take a hit.

RedbirdRuffian
5 years 25 days ago

This isn’t that hard to figure out. Crawford will be high end free agent meaning only a few teams will be able to afford him and still be competititve (Yanks, Red Sox, Cubs, LA’s, Phils). Some of those already have significant payroll comitted at his position and/or just don’t have the need for him. That leaves the Angels or Cubs if the Cubs can move Fukodome or Soriano. Crawford would be a great fit for the Cubs especially if they can revive Lee and Aramis, and Colvin and Castro come into their own. Crawford is a good chemistry/clubhouse guy and is good with young players. None of this matters if the don’t find a way to dump Zambrano.

pt_nj
5 years 25 days ago

The Sox will go hard after Crawford – it will be the Sox, Yankees or Angels. I don’t see him going to Detroit.

Flharfh
5 years 23 days ago

It all depends on who wants him more, and if the BoSox don’t mind paying the luxury tax.

pt_nj
5 years 23 days ago

The Sox have a lot of money coming off the books next year. I think they’re only committed to something like 100M. Now they have some tough decisions to make but they have the money if they want to pursue Crawford.

ugotrpk3113
5 years 25 days ago

I think this is going to be a fantastic bidding war. I truly believe it’s going to be a team like the Braves, Angels, or Padres.

5 years 20 days ago

It’ll be between the Braves and Yankees. However, the Yankees will have to bid on Lee and, possibly, Werth and deal with Jeter. I think they’ll put Crawford on the back burner for a while and the Braves will sign him for something like 4 years / 64 million$

start_wearing_purple
5 years 25 days ago

My bet is the Red Sox are out on Crawford. Drew is solidly lodged in right and Ellsbury, Cameron, and probably Kalish will fill out the rest. My bet is on the yanks or Giants.

pt_nj
5 years 25 days ago

Drew is in his walk year in 2011. The Sox would gladly sign Crawford and trade Cameron. Cameron would fit nicely in LF, Ellsbury in CF and Drew in right, with Kalish as the OF in training for 2012.

GasLampGuru
5 years 25 days ago

Didn’t Cameron sign a one year deal? I think he’s a FA after this year.

5 years 25 days ago

He signed a 2 year deal.

5 years 25 days ago

It’s always a good thing to have to many players to work with. They could sign Crawford and try to trade any of Ellsbury, Cameron, or Drew. Obviously the most likely one to go would be Ells because I don’t think many teams would want Drew or Cameron with how much they make unless the Sox take on their entire salary. Don’t be surprised if the Sox sign both Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford, I know it’s a dream but I wouldn’t be surprised. They just can’t let the Yankees sign one or the other or both. They need to pull a “Yankees” and swoop in and offer the extra money or years.

Fangaffes
5 years 25 days ago

I would be highly surprised it the Sox go after Lee.