The Red Sox have released veteran first baseman/outfielder Allen Craig, according to a club announcement (h/t Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal, via Twitter).
Craig, 32, will hit the open market after an ill-fated stint in the Sox organization. He was acquired back in 2014 along with righty Joe Kelly in the surprising trade that sent John Lackey to the Cardinals.
At the time, Craig was viewed as a possible bounce-back piece. Though he was carrying only a .237/.291/.346 batting line at the time of the deal, Boston obviously saw upside in the remainder of Craig’s contract extension. After all, prior to 2014, he owns an excellent career .306/.358/.492 batting line.
Unfortunately, the rebound never occurred. Craig only appeared in 65 MLB games with the Red Sox, posting a .432 OPS. And he has never shown much life while banished to Triple-A. Though Craig continues to reach base at a solid clip, he has hit just one home run and carries a .316 slugging percentage this year at Pawtucket.
Boston has long since written off his salary as an investment that won’t deliver any return, but it’s still a notable sum. Craig will still be entitled to the remainder of his $11MM guarantee this year, and will also take home a $1MM buyout on a $13MM option for 2018.
Pedro Cerrano's Voodoo
Get the hell on Felicia
4 years after being no good in the minors
Wait he’s still playing?
Next one!!! castillo!!! I hope
Sandoval toooooo!! Call Devers after the Allstargame
I agree Sox must call up Devers or Chavis just to see if either can hit homers in MLB.
^this. Then Panda.
They can’t. If they bring him up, trade him, or release him during the next 3 years they have to pay his massive salary, if they keep him in the minors they don’t, so he’s stuck down there.
Castillo gets his salary anyway it just doesn’t count against the Salary Cap right now.
Salary cap… OK.
He probably meant luxury tax
Thumbs up to Bruin1012 for being correct but for minor semantics, and to xabial for the courteous correction.
If not for that luxury tax stipulation, we might have seen Craig sent back to STL for Peralta or in some other salary dump many months ago.
This is the problem with comment sections when you have people like Downeysoft saying stuff like that with certainty yet have zero knowledge of what they are talking about.
Watch the Cards resign him and he hits 49 bombs and bats .300 next year
Wow just saw him in Lehigh valley pa yesterday and went 0-4 with nothing hit hard at all. What ashame.
Yeah one day makes a player
Sam Travis and Devers the future!!!
I wish they would do the same with Castillo since he’s finally seemed to figure it out in the minors and he could latch on with another team, but that’s almost certainly not happening
One down 2 to go
What ever happened to Allen Craig? What went wrong on his swing and his pitch approach? Can someone explain me how a solid 300 Barron average player with power have sinked so low as he has?
Remember he had a bad ankle injury late in ’13 and missed just about all of the Series against the Sox. Seems he never came back from that injury.
A bad ankle can do a lot of damage, but I can’t see it deep-sixing a career for nearly four years. The guy went from being a pretty darn good hitter to Mark Belanger, Jr. almost overnight. I’ve thought either psychological issues, eyesight, maybe an injury he’s hiding, although I can’t see how.
His injury plus McGwire no longer tutoring him plus league figured him out.
Oh yeah, credit that great hitting coach, the juice powered hitter who walked, struck out or hit a bomb.
he got his money. what’s the point of playing well, i’m still going to get paid. play better, make more was the other option. i gyess he forgot that obe.
he was like 27 when he first got called up (red flag), slow, no defense, limited power. why anyone ever expected anything is the real question.
Criag was actually called up in the 2010 season (age 25) and was a starting position player by 2011 (age 26), so I don’t know where you’re getting your data from.
The only thing that prevented Craig from play more in 2011 was a knee fracture.
Also, what’s wrong with debuting at an ‘older’ age?
Marco Scutaro made his debut when he was 26 and he had a pretty solid career.
Red flag? Josh Donaldson would like you to meet him in his office.
n=1 is probably an outlier. 3 trees does not a forest make. Donaldson is the exception, not the rule.
marco who? a players physical peak has been identified (through ops, WAR, etc) as 25-28. if a guy is 26/27 before he even begins seeing consistent MLB ab, thats not good. Guys who come up at 26/27 and have a good year or two are a dime a dozen.
also, craig had 114 ab as a 25 year old (2010) and 200 as a 26 year old (2011). that is not a full time MLB player. it wasnt until he was 27 that he cracked 450 AB.
in fact, he didnt even have a year of service (by mlb standards) under his belt until 2012; his age 27 season.
Craig suffered a ‘Lisfranc injury’ and was never the same. Sounds bad? that’s because it is. Probably the 2nd worst sport injury I’ve seen athletes attempt to come back from after pattellar tendon rupture. While injuries will always be a part of the game, Sometimes it’s better to count your blessings your best guy suffered something a ‘Torn ACL’ than ‘Lisfranc’ or torn patellar tendon
Lisfranc injury put Craig’s career on life support and is a very rare, and serious injury. People can come back from it though. One person that comes to mind is Eric Decker (worst injury he received while playing football)
Another player that comes to mind, who suffered the same exact injury as Allen Craig is Santonio Holmes; tho he wasn’t as lucky as Decker. Holmes was never quite the same. Altho he was already declining, that injury was the final nail in his coffin. Lisfranc injuries are some of the rarest and most brutal injuries there is.
It was a bad trade but Joe Kelly is finally having a good season in Boston this year
I meat to say 300 average hitter
I kinda forgot all about him honestly
Boston sure does know how to waste money.
Pedro Cerrano's Voodoo
Very insightful sharp comment.
Take comfort sox fans..when u pay $38 for a watered down beer this is where the money goes to
Pedro Cerrano's Voodoo
Says the dodger fan
I’m a sox fan..that’s my name sir
Allen Craig is one of the best examples of the unfairness between big market and small market clubs. One contract with the “value” of Craig’s would RUIN a team like the Rays or Pirates or Twins for 7-8 years. Boston not only didn’t worry about it, they also added Rusney Castillo with even less value as well. The unfairness between big market and small market clubs is not in their ability to compete. It is in their ability to withstand big mistakes.
7-8 years? Hyperbole much?
Kind of like Colon’s 5 missing prime years. Hyperbole much?
Over the five years between 2006-10 Bartolo Colon started 47 games. That’s nine starts a year.
Yeah just forget the 14-21 record in the four years and say he went 13-0 every year. Now he’s a lock for the Hall of Fame. LMAO! He missed 2010, parts of a few other seasons and the time missed was a wash with the cheating he has done over the years.
He missed the vast majority of five seasons. I don’t know why this is so hard for you to grasp.
He missed 2010 and parts of a couple others. When you pitch so many years in the majors you’re going to get hurt and miss games. To just discount the 14-21 record and games pitched and just say he would’ve won 13 more games for 5 years because it was his prime and he belongs in the HoF is laughable. Pitchers aren’t supposed to be in their prime years in the mid 30s. When it’s a known cheater like Colon, any games missed is a wash with the cheating he has done over the years.
Seriously. There would be so many more terrible teams in baseball if this were true. It’s just magnified with Big Market teams because they do it more.
Hiflew you are 100% correct. A team like Cleveland got siderailed by a bad contract to Hafner that they couldn’t unload. So they were stuck selling off all the other pieces that had trade value. That bad contract to Hafner crippled them, while a team like Boston can move bad contracts around and deal with it. They were able to make that Adrian Gonzalez deal with LA and move a bunch of heavy contracts. The playing field isn’t level.
So the playing field isn’t level because they traded away big contracts? Makes no sense every team has the opportunity to trade away money… being a big market team gave them no advantage there. They got nothing in return and unloaded a few big contracts bc the dodgers had the ability to take those contracts on and got a solid 1st baseman. Polish hammer you are 100% wrong
Not every team can swallow a contract and/or trade it away and re-start a rebuild so quickly. The playing field is not level, sorry you can’t comprehend the economics of baseball.
“A team like Cleveland got siderailed by a bad contract to Hafner that they couldn’t unload.”
Cleveland got siderailed because they’re terrible at drafting.
These are the best players they managed to draft and sign from 2001 to 2008 (courtesy of baseball reference)
Jeremy Guthrie – 17.7 WAR
Luke Scott – 12.1 WAR
Lonnie Chisenhall – 9.0 WAR
Kevin Kouzmanoff – 7.7 WAR
Tony Sipp – 4.3 WAR
Josh Tomlin – 4.4 WAR
Vinnie Pestano – 4.4 WAR
Chris Archer – 11.7 WAR (traded to Cubs, then Rays)
On top of that, they failed to sign their best picks (Tim Lincecum and Desmond Jennings in 2005) and they traded away their best signee (Chris Archer)
No matter how you spin it, this is flat out terrible.
Blaming it on Hafner is a cop out. Cleveland only has themselves to blame; look no further than their dismal drafts as evidence.
(Note: things did get better in 2009 – 2011)
Clueless, hiflew – it was trade that didn’t work out, and tell me the Rays, Pirates, or Twins have never had one of those. Rusney is a different case – one, perhaps, of poor scouting, and yes, jumping on the bandwagon created by clubs signing players like Cespedes and Abreu. Tell me again, which of the Rays, Pirates, or Twins have never made such a mistake in judging a player’s eventual performance. Armchair GMs should do crossword puzzles instead of airing out absurd opinions.
Some small market teams are that way because their ownership is cheap
It’s the surrounding area
Look at the padres
They hold Olivera contract and it doesn’t really hurt them
They are playing just as bad
I dont understand the logic behind this given that they already have to pay his salary and now that they’ve released him his salary is now a hit against the luxury tax.
Allen Craig. Bad foot injury that completely changed his future. This is likely Bird’s career path.
Looks like Kelly was the prize in that trade for the Sox. Lock down reliever that throws 104 mph with a 90+ mph slider.
Kelly is pitching over his head, look at his peripherals.
Tell us about the peripherals. Results certainly are working out well.
thats the thing about outperforming peripherals. you can sustain it until you cant. youre going to realize he was right when kelly comes back to earth.
I read this at first as they “recalled” him not released him. I got all worried and confused at first but releasing him makes a lot more sense
Whenever someone tries to convince you that hitting with RISP is a skill, just point to Allen Craig
He was still playing? Lol
He was a good cardinal
Yankees looking for 1B/OF help, Craig is a much better hitter than Chris Carter…
No absolutely not!!!
If only the Sox hijacked the Cards’ computer system like the supposedly squeaky clean St. Louis org have done in the past and maybe we could’ve gotten the intel that Craig was hopeless.
unsustainable BABIP, age, bat speed, and one dimensional skill set could have told you that too. a poor mans billy butler without as long of a track record.
It seems like every vet that plays well in stretches for other teams that sign with the Sox end up terrible. I can’t think of the last somewhat big name vet the Sox got in free agency or a trade that have been close to what they were. I know Sale is killing it right now. But before him Sox fans can u help me with who else? It seems like every productive player for them is home grown.
Craig Kimbrel has stabilized the back of their bullpen and is an excellent Closer.
’16 Porcello comes to mind
BoSox arent black hole for trades you make them out to be.
But even Kimbrel and Porcellos first seasons in Boston were down years
Mike Napoli (for at least 1 year), Kevin Millar, Manny Ramirez, Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez, Jonny Gomes, Keith Foulke, Bill Mueller, Adrian Beltre (LOSING him was ‘terrible’), J. D. Drew, Stephen Drew (1 year), Mike Timlin, and others I’ve missed.
A real shame. You can’t help what wonder what happened to this guy. How does it all fall apart like that? Similar to Rick Ankiel’s sudden inability to throw a strike. Hope someone’s willing to take a chance on him and he’s able to turn it around.
Typical red sox so no patience with a guy and release him to save the salary. This guy was once a feared hitter with the st louis but was banished by Boston because their nit wit fans want a guy gone if he has a bad week. Ridiculous really. I hope he catches on with someone else and hammers boston.
No patience? Four years is no patience?
They weren’t patient for four years. The Red Sox were gaming the system by keeping him in the minors to avoid paying luxury tax. His development was halted by an unwillingness to move him up at any point.
Not all players that are successful in the majors were tearing it up in the minors. It’s that their development needed an extra push.
John Henry should man up to his responsibilities with various puppets/management and not make players the scape goat of bad deals.
So he has two victims in Pawtucket these past few years and if he could figure a way to cheat with the insane contracts of Sandoval and Hanley they would be eating grinders in Pawtucket every night.
I hope Craig catches lightening in a bottle and becomes the Red Sox worst nightmare by playing at a competitive level.
Before any Beantown doubters chip in here think about it for one minute from the players’ perspective. They signed legitimate contracts. They got traded and ONLY in Red Sox land would the team put them in jail in the minors.
MIkeyank and pepesilvia – you’re making stuff up now. You want to trash the Red Sox, go ahead, but find some facts to back up your blather. Craig was and is ‘damaged goods,’ but cheating? Craig is still collecting his salary, and I think he’d agree that his performance suggests he’s the one who’s cheating. Tell me where else any employee could utterly fail and not lose salary and be fired! Mindless comments, nincompoops.
“ONLY in Red Sox land would the team put them in jail in the minors.” …. What? Craig and Castillo were given opportunities to prove themselves. At Craig’s age he is what he is. It’s not working out and good riddance. Castillo was pushed to the majors too early and just now is finally finding his footing in AAA. He’s not in “jail”. Tell me, since you think the Sox are holding Castillo down on purpose, which Red Sox OF would you get rid of for Castillo right now? You get to choose from Mookie, Benentendi, JBJ, and Young. I’m interested in which OF you think Rusney is better then right now.
About damn time. Even though he had no chance of ever coming back to the current Sox MLB roster, he was taking PA away from other prospects that could use them. Good riddance. And for the people saying Rusney should be next, prior to this season I was with you. But this season in AAA he actually has been alright. He’s lowered his SO% and is playing fairly well. At least he’s still under 30 years old and worth seeing if he could ever be a 4th/5th OF.
Lol he was still around? I thought he went to Japan after a failed half year with the red Sox