Those of you who have followed my contributions to the site probably know my feelings toward Carl Crawford. In short, I think he’s an excellent player and when I heard the news this morning I wasn’t thrilled; in fact, my exact sentiments were “this is my nightmare.” Granted, some hyperbole may have been applied. I do believe the guy represents the type of weapon who can kill an opponent in a number of ways. Although some claim his full defensive prowess will be hampered by the restrictive left field confines of Fenway, I think that reasoning is somewhat flawed. The Sox play half their games in Boston where he certainly won’t be a slouch, and he’ll certainly still be outstanding everywhere else. Additionally, Crawford’s almost the closest thing to a lock for about 50 or so steals per season. In terms of offense, he’s coming off of a career year where he batted .307/.356/.495 (19 HR / 6.9 fWAR). The Red Sox will also, in all likelihood, receive excellent production from him for the majority of the contract as he’ll only be turning 29 in 2011.
Regarding the Yankees this offseason, signing Crawford was never a necessity. New York already has a good cast of outfielders and their financial resources were always expected to be allocated to Cliff Lee (which of course they have been…and then some). What this does do though, is assist the Red Sox in their efforts to replace whatever offensive production was lost with Adrian Beltre and Victor Martinez’s departure. Although one could legitimately argue that the Rays took a step back this offseason, it appears as though the rest of the AL East has continued to get nothing but stronger. While some might contend that Crawford’s ability isn’t on par with his salary, I think two simple truths remain: First, the Red Sox are a better team having added him. While I’m not sure I would have wanted the Yankees to commit to that kind of agreement for another outfielder, I can absolutely understand how the Red Sox would find him appealing. Second, I now have to “hate” the guy.
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