Carl Crawford Rumors
After tonight's 10-3 loss to the Yankees, the Red Sox have a 49-51 record through their first 100 games of the season. Time may be running out for the Sox to determine if they'll make a major acquisition at the trade deadline or if they'll decide to punt on the 2012 season. Here's the latest from Fenway Park...
- Josh Beckett said he hasn't been approached by the team about a trade, nor about waiving his 10-5 rights, reports WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. Beckett said he would consider accepting a deal if approached since "if you’re not wanted somewhere, why stay there?" though GM Ben Cherington "assured me during Spring Training that he wants me here, so as far as I’m concerned, [rumors are] just made-up fodder.” The right-hander stressed that he wanted to remain in Boston.
- The Rangers are interested in Cody Ross and had scouts at Yankee Stadium on Friday, reports Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. A source tells WEEI.com's Rob Bradford that the Red Sox have no plans to deal Ross despite "significant" interest from other teams.
- While the Red Sox are themselves looking for pitching, WEEI.com's Alex Speier thinks the team could be well-served to get something out of "a short-term asset" like Aaron Cook. Teams have had "modest interest" in Cook on the trade market, though Cook's rough start against the Yankees tonight can't help,
- The Marlins are the only team to "officially inquire" about Carl Crawford, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
- Cherington tells Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter links) that the team has no plans to trade Jacoby Ellsbury, as the Red Sox see Ellsbury as a key step to contending in 2013.
- From earlier today, Cherington discussed Beckett, Ellsbury and other topics during a radio appearance on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show.
Three AL East executives said they view the Red Sox as the Yankees’ greatest intra-divisional threat this year, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. “There is just too much talent on that roster for them not to contend,” one of the executives said of the Red Sox. Here are the latest notes and rumors from Sherman...
- The Red Sox are trying to find a high-end starting pitcher or a shortstop, one official told Sherman.
- Boston tried to flip Carl Crawford to Miami to address their shortstop situation, Sherman reports. However, GM Ben Cherington said on WEEI in Boston today that there was just one conversation with Miami and that talks about Crawford never got serious (Twitter link via Rob Bradford).
- Boston “wants [Crawford] out in the worst way,” Sherman hears from an exec.
- James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson and Wade Davis are drawing lots of interest, Sherman writes. The Rays are hoping demand for Shields spikes once Zack Greinke gets traded. It's conceivable that a bidding war could emerge between the Angels and Rangers.
- Though Carl Crawford has struggled with injuries and performance since joining the Red Sox, he told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald that he has no regrets about signing with the team in the 2010-11 offseason.
- Team president Larry Lucchino discussed the recent Crawford-to-Miami trade rumors on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan radio show (WEEI.com's Kirk Minihane has a partial transcript). "Dan Jennings, the guy from the Marlins front office who drafted Carl Crawford, was up in Boston scouting, presumably, Carl Crawford and others when Ben [Cherington] let us about the fact that there had been an inquiry," Lucchino said. "And given the encouragement that we offer regarding being bold I'm sure he asked them what they had in mind. That's just par for the course for this time of year. You explore all the possibilities, big ones, bold ones, small ones, incremental ones, whatever you can do."
- Also from Lucchino's interview, he thinks Cherington is "empowered" to make a big move at the trade deadline. "This is a club has been built on bold moves over the years, going back to the Nomar Garciaparra trade as one example," Lucchino said. "There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that Ben Cherington and the entire baseball operations are all pointed to working hard to July 31."
- Manager Bobby Valentine told reporters (including Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal) that he is open to roster improvements though he doesn't "see any gaping holes on our team."
1:10pm: There's no current discussion involving Crawford, Ramirez and Bell, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). The idea surfaced briefly as a concept and immediately died.
12:57pm: The Red Sox and Marlins are discussing a trade that would send Carl Crawford to Miami for Hanley Ramirez and Heath Bell, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. The Marlins approached the Red Sox about the possible blockbuster, Nightengale reports.
The biggest impediment to the deal is the Marlins' indecision about their course for the rest of the 2012 season. Miami VP Dan Jennings is in Boston scouting Crawford, according to Nightengale. The potential trade would be the second-biggest contract swap in history, trailing only the 2004 trade involving Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano, Nightengale writes.
Ken Rosenthal reported earlier today that the Red Sox are determining trade interest in Crawford. However, GM Ben Cherington says there's "nothing going on" with the left fielder, who is in the second year of a seven-year, $142MM contract he signed following the 2010 season.
The Red Sox are contacting teams to determine their trade interest in Carl Crawford, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Red Sox reached out to both the Marlins and the Dodgers, but no deal appears close.
“There’s nothing going on with Carl,” Red Sox GM Ben Cherington told Rosenthal. “He’s our left fielder and we’re glad to have him back in our lineup.”
Crawford is in the second year of a seven-year, $142MM contract he signed following the 2010 season. His contract allows him to block trades to two teams and states that teams can’t flip him to the New York Yankees. Crawford, who returned from the disabled list two days ago, has lingering elbow issues that could require Tommy John surgery at some point. The 30-year-old posted a .255/.289/.405 line last year in his first season with the Red Sox.
Some Marlins officials are frustrated with Hanley Ramirez, so Rosenthal suggests Cherington could look to acquire the former Red Sox prospect for Crawford. Jose Reyes could also be considered a trade chip, Rosenthal writes.
Here's the latest from around the majors...
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers thought Vladimir Guerrero performed well in his tryout with the team but will have to consult with team management before deciding whether to offer Guerrero a contract, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Towers speculated that Guerrero's only possible role with the club could be as a DH during interleague games, a role that Wily Mo Pena filled for the Snakes last season.
- The Brewers may check in with Derrek Lee in regards to their hole at first base, GM Doug Melvin told reporters (including Scott Miller of CBS Sports) earlier this week. Lee said he didn't plan to officially retire despite a lack of interest this offseason, though he seemed to be holding out for "a perfect situation." The Pirates, Lee's last team, would receive a compensatory draft pick if Lee were to sign a Major League deal, though it's likely that Lee would only be offered a minor league contract, if anything, by the Brewers or another club.
- Torii Hunter tells Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he would consider returning to the Twins next season if he doesn't re-sign with the Angels. Given that Hunter's stated goal is to play for a contender in 2013, it's hard to see him returning to Minnesota unless he gets no other offers (and, of course, presuming that the Twins would be interested).
- Carl Crawford has been moved to the 60-day DL to create a 40-man roster spot for the called-up Aaron Cook, the Red Sox announced tonight. In a corresponding move, Jose Iglesias was sent down to create space for Cook on the 25-man roster.
- Right-hander Carlos Torres has been called up by the Rockies and filled the last spot on their 40-man roster, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Jhoulys Chacin has been sent down to Triple-A in a corresponding move that opens a spot for Torres on the 25-man roster. Torres last pitched in the majors in 2010 as a member of the White Sox.
- Major League Baseball and the NCAA are in talks regarding increased partnership between the two entities, such as MLB providing funding for scholarships, reports Bryan Fischer of CBS Sports.
- White Sox starter John Danks told reporters (including MLB.com's Scott Merkin) that he isn't feeling any additional pressure from his offseason contract extension. After allowing six earned runs in seven innings against Cleveland tonight, Danks' ERA stands at 6.51 through six starts.
Sunday afternoon linkage..
- Brandon Inge clears waivers at 1pm CST and the A's are the frontrunner to sign him, a source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
- The Brewers are tenth in payroll this season, but that won't be the case for the club every year, owner Mark Attanasio told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal also spoke to GM Doug Melvin, who sounded skittish about doling out five- and six-year deals as a small-market club.
- Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times wonders if the Red Sox's Carl Crawford could be a fit with the Dodgers. If Boston were willing to pay off part of his $142MM contract and accepted some decent pitching in return, he believes there could be a match between the two teams.
- More from Shaikin, who writes that the Angels could opt-out of their stadium deal in 2016 and potentially move right down the street from the Dodgers. The Dodgers could not challenge such a move on the grounds of traditional territorial rights like the Giants are blocking the A's from moving to San Jose.
- For Japanese imports such as Hiroki Kuroda and Yu Darvish, the major leagues represent a significant change, writes Jeff Bradley of the Star-Ledger.
Angels owner Arte Moreno spoke to GQ's Nathaniel Penn about a number of the team's recent moves (and non-moves) in this Q&A piece...
- Moreno isn't worried that he'll be paying Albert Pujols $30MM per season after he turns 40. “If he's healthy enough and he's playing for us, then I'm gonna just say, ‘Merry Christmas to all baseball fans,' because we get to see one of the best players of our generation coming to bat," Moreno said. The owner also noted that his wife played a role in the Pujols negotiations, as both she and Pujols' wife have ties to the Kansas City area.
- The Angels didn't investigate rumors that Pujols is older than his listed age. "Somebody starts checking on your age you start wondering, 'Do we really want to have a relationship like this?'", Moreno said.
- The Angels never bid on Carl Crawford during the 2010-11 offseason. Moreno stood by his criticism of Crawford's seven-year/$142MM contract with Boston since "I don't think anybody...was in the vicinity of that offer." In Pujols' case, however, the team felt comfortable signing him to a massive contract since the Halos had lots of new funds coming in via their new TV deal.
- "Still, I don't think in a perfect world we really thought Albert was going to be available," Moreno said. "They just won a championship in St. Louis, he had been there eleven years, and you think they're gonna make a deal."
- Moreno wasn't keen to discuss the firing of former GM Tony Reagins, saying "I just think what happens is over a period of time you don't think you're going in the direction you want to go." Moreno did hint that Reagins was fired due to the combination of the Halos missing the playoffs for the last two seasons and the thus-far disasterous results of team's deal for Vernon Wells.
- Speaking of that deal, Moreno said his team's baseball staff felt Mike Napoli's throwing arm wouldn't hold up for an entire season of catching and he was about to get too expensive for the team's liking through arbitration. Moreno praised Rangers manager Ron Washington's handling of Napoli and also noted "the book's not closed on Vernon, you know."
- The Angels didn't bid on Yu Darvish and Moreno said was never approached by his baseball staff about the Japanese right-hander, guessing it was due to the size of the required posting bid.
The American League East may be the toughest division in baseball, so the Yankees, Rays, Red Sox and Blue Jays likely welcomed the news that MLB will expand its playoffs in 2012. In theory, three teams from one division could play in the postseason under the new arrangement. Here are the latest links from the AL East...
- Rays executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told Peter Gammons of MLB.com that he gets “tired of hearing the Red Sox are underdogs." As Gammons explains, the Rays could be better in 2012 than they were in ’11.
- Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said he's "pretty certain" the Tampa Bay market can support the team long-term, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Sternberg said he's had encouraging talks with city officials and business leaders about the club.
- After a challenging winter, Sternberg is projecting a "very, very good team this year," Topkin writes. Sternberg approved a payroll increase of approximately 50% for 2012.
- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington joined WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show and said the decision of whether Jose Iglesias breaks camp with the team will be up to manager Bobby Valentine. "In a perfect world, [Iglesias] would probably get some more time in Triple-A," the GM said (via Jerry Spar).
- Cherington said on WEEI that he isn't worried about Carl Crawford, who will be looking to increase his production after a disappointing 2011.
- Right-handed reliever Chris Carpenter, acquired from the Cubs for Theo Epstein, isn't a lock to make the team, Cherington said. The Red Sox may option him to Triple-A and call him up when a spot opens up.
- Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues discusses some Yankees who fell short of expectations in 2011 and could make up for it in 2012.
The Red Sox ownership group spoke to the media at the team's Spring Training complex this morning, with chairman Tom Werner saying this season "is going to be a new chapter." Here's a recap of their media session, with all source links going to Twitter...
- When asked if he and his partners would consider selling the Red Sox, ownerJohn Henry said, "It's a valid question ... people involved in RedSox partnership, we've made enough money," tweets Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com.
- Henry didn't sound thrilled about the compensation his team received from the Cubs for Theo Epstein, says Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Henry did say that's how tough negotiations go, calling it a "basic misunderstanding" according to Tim Britton of The Providence Journal.
- Team president Larry Lucchino said the Marco Scutaro trade was "a little bit of both," meaning a baseball move and a financial move. They believe they can get similar production from other players. (Heyman)
- Henry said the luxury tax will be a "bigger issue every year moving forward" and the team has to be "more careful" spending money, according to Heyman and Britton. He noted that other clubs are catching up economically.
- Lucchino said payroll would be upwards of $190MM according to WEEI.com's Alex Speier, adding that the team will have money to make moves within the season.
- "So far, he's done everything we could have hoped," said Werner when asked about new manager Bobby Valentine, according to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com.
- Henry backed off his comments about not wanting Carl Crawford from earlier this offseason according to McAdam, saying: "I should have never made those comments."