Crawford Takes Talents To Fenway

So, you know, all that time we thought it was bull[Getting Blanked] when the journalists at the Winter Meetings referred to “mystery teams” as being “in on” a free agent, and we laughed at the silly, pathetic writers who ought to know better by now . . . well maybe, just maybe, there was something to it.

How else to explain the Boston Red Sox surprising everyone except Pete Abraham by signing Carl Crawford to a seven year contract worth $142 million, making him the highest paid outfielder in the history of ever?

Crawford joins a lineup in Boston that is so depressingly good that there is actually doubt as to who exactly the Evil Empire is.  Consider this for one moment:

1. Jacoby Ellsbury cf
2. Carl Crawford lf
3. Adrian Gonzalez 1b
4. Kevin Youkilis 3b
5. Dustin Pedroia 2b
6. J.D. Drew rf
7. David Ortiz dh
8. Marco Scutaro ss
9. Jarrod Saltalamacchia c

Ugh.  Do you remember when fans of other AL East teams were worried about the Red Sox possibly signing Magglio Ordonez to a contract?  This is about six years and $132 million worse.

If I’d told you about a team that had Drew and Ortiz hitting sixth and seventh in a lineup, you’d assume that team was either managed by Cito Gaston or the guy you totally annihilated in your fantasy league this year.  But no, on the Boston Red Sox next season, that’s probably a generous placement in their batting order.

The way I see it, I am literally 1/142nd the baseball player that Carl Crawford is.  Could I please have a million dollars?

Comments (45)

  1. Call me shallow, but with even the Orioles making positive additions to their team, never mind Boston and New York, but bloody hell AA better make some kind of big-ish trade. It might be too depressing if he doesn’t.

  2. If I’d told you about a team that had Drew and Ortiz hitting sixth and seventh in a lineup, you’d assume that team was either managed by Cito Gaston or the guy you totally annihilated in your fantasy league this year.

    Well played, Parkes. That 2-through-5 has to be the best in baseball.

  3. I’m depressed. This is cause to trade Bautista . . . stat.

  4. So much for the Jays maybe finishing second. Well, there’s always 2012, haha

  5. @ Theo: The Red Sox and Yankees operate within their own bubble. Matter of fact, so do the Orioles. It’s just a much, much shittier bubble. Anyway, what the Red Sox and Yankees do should have no bearing on the Blue Jays. Alex Anthopoulos must stay the course.

  6. Oh, I know that Navin. Doesn’t change the fact that I want something big and miraculous to happen and make everything better.

    Y’know, like Greinke. Can we get him? Please?

  7. Remember the good ol’ days when Crawford was going to the Angels and the Rangers stood a chance at retaining Cliff Lee?

    The Yankees pretty much HAVE to sign him now, don’t they?

  8. Well, at least this settles any delusion of grandeur on the parts of the Jays. If anything I think it makes the potential of a Greinke deal positively stupid at this point. Time to focus our attention to when Gonzalez and Crawford will be in decline.

  9. Which hopefully won’t be long.

  10. Still, it’s at least plausible to hope that in four or five years (or even sooner, hopefully) the Yankees and Red Sox will be so crippled by these massive contracts that they’re mostly out of the race.

    Plausibly.

    :/

  11. This just makes me think about how hard it’s been to be a huge Jays fan the last 15 years.

    (Fuck that – how hard its been to be a Toronto sports fan in general. How can a city this big, this wealthy, with good fan support except for recent Jays attendance, be this hopeless with it’s sports teams in the last 15 years? I mean this isn’t Buffalo or Cleveland for fucks sakes! It’s the 5th biggest city in NA – and a major economic hub.)

    Anyway..

    I wrote this in the DJF comments as well – but let’s all look forward to the playoffs expanding in 2012. A year when we can just focus on trying to be the best non Yankee or Red Sox team in the AL and actually make the playoffs.

  12. The Red Sox always shellack us anyway. If the Yanks don’t get Lee, then they’ll be worse, the Rays will be worse, and the Orioles will be their same shitty selves. That at least creates a outside shot at the Wild Card.

  13. 2012 = extra wild card spot… we’re still blanked by the unbalanced schedule, but NY and BOS won’t guarantee we miss the playoffs every year.

  14. About a week ago I actually believed that maybe 2011 would be the year the Jays have an opening to move up in the division. Tampa would lose Crawford and Pena, Boston would lose Martinez and Beltre, and new York would be another year older. Lee would sign with the rangers, Crawford with the angels, and while the other teams in the AL east improve a bit through trades the Jays might do the same.

    Flash forward to tonight, and it is clear that the Jays can in no way contend in 2011. In fact, this makes the Lawrie deal make sense. Greinke would be a waste at this point.

    I

    I hope Batista

  15. Realistically, we shouldn’t get too down. Yeah, the Red Sox will probably be amazing in 2011, but these long term mega contracts have a habit of looking shitty pretty quickly.

    How did we all feel when the Yankees signed CC, AJ and Tex? Like theyd be unbeatable. Two seasons later, only the CC contract looks really worth it at this point.

  16. I hope Batista is shopped to the NL contenders (Philadelphia, atlanta, cincy, San Francisco , st Louis) and shipped to which one can give the Jays the best package of prospects.

    Still, let’s hope the Jays sign Manny for some entertainment. With some regression from ’10 and improved rivals it could be a long season.

  17. Stop Whining – I agree. I can live with the unbalanced sched if it means all we have to do is be better than the Os, Rays and 2nd best teams in the AL Central and AL West to make the playoffs.

    Even in years we don’t make the playoffs, imagine how great a legitimate playoff run would be.

  18. As I said earlier this week after the Marcum deal, if this team wants to rebuild, they should do it right. Purge the team of its talent (Bautista, Lind, Hill, Escobar, Frasor, Camp) and get prospects for them.

    Trading for Greinke never made any sense.

  19. Bautista is interesting, though, because you might be able to get more for him a few months into the season if he continues to prove his power was real.

  20. Really? Are people actually complaining about what the rest of the AL East is doing this year? Some people need a dose of the “Reality Potion”. Does anyone actually believe the Blue Jays themselves are planning to be relevant before 2012 or even 2013?
    AA is a pure methodical thinker and knows that last years offense, fueled by home runs, is fools gold. Last year was a blip and this year is the true litmus test for what the Blue Jays have and what they need. 12 months from now Anthopoulos will be making the critical moves to push the franchise forward. Asking for a trade now for a trades sake or signing for a headline reeks of Corey Koskie-ism. You want a headline signing, go back to 2004 and support JP. If you want a perennial contender give Alex more than 15 months to plan/collect/draft/trade for young high impact talent and let it grow together.

  21. Many of you will call me an idiot..

    But if you break it down, with a Rajai Davis/Fred Lewis Platoon.. The Jays could have had 85 percent of Carl Crawford at 5 percent of the cost…

    I’m not that concerned about Crawford, we’re talking about a guy with a career 780 OPS…

  22. As long as the Yankees and Red Sox keep winning, their resources will be endless. The Carl Crawford deal will look bad in a few years, but Boston won’t be affected much by it.

    Really, in the end, the only way for the Jays to consistently compete long term with these teams will be for Rogers to spend like them.

  23. Really? anyone see the budgets of the 2 WS teams this year, big deals and contracts increase chances but arent everything

  24. We’re also talking about a guy who ranks sixth in total wins above replacement over the last two years. It’s okay to be a little more than concerned with Crawford especially considering that stylistically, players like him tend to age well.

    It wasn’t delusional to believe that the Jays could’ve been competitive again with the roster they had last season. Both Boston and New York, with their aging rosters looked as though they were beginning to regress, not to mention the fleeing of the ship in Tampa Bay. This isn’t hockey where you have to spend a few years on the bottom of the pile in order to be relevant. You can continue building a system while also fielding a good team.

    All this does is make any decisions that were to be made over possibly trading a bit of that future for a bit of the now that much easier to make. The Jays shouldn’t react to this, but rather continue in the direction that they’ve been going . . . just with a little less likelihood of early success.

  25. It’s a perpetual cycle with both the Sox and Yanks for the past decade. I can’t understand why this comes as a surprise to anyone. Whether its off of FA or swapping prospects they’ll always have elite big name players.

    In a couple years when Ortiz and Drew are gone they’ll go hard after a top tier OF and another DH.

    CC, Gonzalez, Drew, Beltre, V-Mart, Lackey, Dice-K, Tex, other CC, Granderson, AROD, Matsui, Abreu, Mussina, Giambi……..(christ even Johnson, Pavano and Vasquez were big names before they busted)

    This is not new to AA. He has to stay the course.

  26. The only team that should ever determine its player acquisition strategy based on what the Red Sox do is the Yankees. And vice versa.

  27. This signing isn’t that depressing to me. For one thing, at the moment I would rather have Toronto’s rotation than either Boston’s or NY’s (though the Lee signing could change that). And this division is always going to be competitive. Although I would like to see Toronto nab an ace on the trade market, that’s predicated on the notion that they will be around for longer than 2 years as I hope to see them continue building deliberately for the future.

    I never expected 2011 to be a contending year and despite that I am still looking forward to the upcoming season. It will be interesting to see if Bautista can continue to mash, to see if Lind can handle 1B, to watch JP, Snyder and Drabek (and maybe Stewart) develop. And I’m still hopeful for a Manny deal simply for the fun of it.

    By 2012, the start of the expanded playoffs, Hech and Lawrie could be ready to go, and we will know if Lind can be put into the field or if he will simple be our DH going forward (I’m kind of hopeful for a HHEL infield myself, but we’ll see how things shake out). We’ll know what we have with Snyder and JP, either signed Bautista to a long term deal or cashed him in for prospects/picks, and by the winter of 2012 start to get serious on the FA market.

    I think the money will be there when it is needed, and wouldn’t be surprised to see a budget similar to the Phillies in the future. But we need to have a base of players first to add to. Otherwise we are simply trying to be the Cubs.

  28. Well put Eliot.

    I wonder now though if this doesn’t make it an easier decision to trade Bautista now.

  29. Do you have any support for saying that players like Crawford age well? I think we’ve seen the opposite historically although I don’t have anything to support that either.

  30. FanGraphs had an article on it about a month ago. I’ll dig it up later today and maybe write a post about it. I think the general gist was that elite speedy types either develop power or continue to run. Funny thing is that as fast as Crawford is, he’s not that great at base stealing.

  31. They are better off holding onto Bautista until mid-season. Maybe the Crawford signing will change things, but I get the sense that a lot of the league still has its doubts about Bautista and thus the return wouldn’t be that great right now (or at least not as great as two picks next year, which seems the worst case scenario for the Jays).

  32. Hopefully Francona makes the same lineup you did Parkes. I would hate to see Youkilis, the Greek god of OBP, bat in front of Gonzalez.

    Let’s not count the Jays out. Boston’s pitching could be atrocious again if their SP’s don’t bounce back. And injuries could always derail the lineup’s success.

  33. Youkilis hit fourth most of last season, and had a better SLG than Gonzalez.

  34. Salary cap.
    Salary cap.
    Salary cap.
    This is a joke. No, we’re not going to have a better opportunity in 2013, because if anyone good is available, the payrolls will just expand and they’ll sign them too.

    cap of $130 million, floor of $80 million. the players don’t lose any money overall (they assumedly gain some,) the farm team franchises will fold/relocate, and the remaining league will be competitive without being laughable.

  35. I’m working on something about salary caps.

  36. Isn’t the best case scenario now that the Rangers get Lee, and the Yanks sign Downs so that we get a first round pick back?

  37. @Scott
    Right now we have a lot of holes to fill and unknowns on the roster, plus most of our prospects are in the low minors. By 2013 we will know what we have at the major league level, have few holes to fill, the money will be there for FAs and our prospect depth will be closer to the majors and critical in potential trades for upgrades. In short, we will have a better chance in 2013.

    Even the Red Sox and Yankees have limits. The Red Sox made some great additions, but adding Gonzalez and Crawford was aided by players like Beltre and Lowell coming off the books, not to mention the contracts for Ortiz and Drew ending after 2011. As for the Yankees, they are getting old as dirt and they only have one decent prospect in the minors. That probably means they will make a splash next year (whether or not they get Lee this year), but I’m willing to take my chances against an aging roster that will have a number of holes to fill.

    Last, any salary cap means the loss of at least one World Series, not something I would like to go through again (and you know the players would win again anyway – their leadership is too smart). Second, only 5 teams spent more than your cap limit, and only 2 of which were significantly so (guess who), while 11 teams didn’t reach your cap base and another 5 weren’t much more than that. While those low payroll team included crooked blanking owners like in Florida, it also includes teams in Tampa, Oakland and San Diego who wouldn’t be able to reach that base.

  38. I’m honestly not that bothered by the Crawford signing either. He is okay, but he’ll probably have an OBP from .350 to .360, slug about .450 to .480. Good, but for that price? Sure he steals and plays good defense, but actually for me he is not elite level. Heck, the Jays sign Manny, and Manny will hit better for sure (I think) and they will not be paying such an outrageous salary.
    What’s the push to trade Bautista? He is a “high-ceiling” player like AA wants, and for now at a bargain price. I think it is not out of the question that he would sign for a reasonable amount should he prove to be not a one-season fluke. Since the Jays say money is no object, they could lock him up then. Part of the problem is being constantly outbid for the premium free agents by the Yanks, etc. (at least theoretically outbid), but Bautista may in fact want to stay in Toronto to be with the team that gave him a chance and the one he pushed up the standings.
    Besides, who needs more prospects? From what I read on here and other blogs, virtually every position is covered by an elite level guy within a couple of years (except first – but there should be a free agent or two available for that spot).

  39. “It wasn’t delusional to believe that the Jays could’ve been competitive again with the roster they had last season. Both Boston and New York, with their aging rosters looked as though they were beginning to regress, not to mention the fleeing of the ship in Tampa Bay.”

    I can’t recall anybody ever thinking BOS and NYY would regress. Those teams were always going to be elite and in the 95+ win territory in 2011, without or without guys like Carl Crawford and Cliff Lee. Really, the Jays would have had to spend some significant cash this offseason if they wanted to contend and keep the same foundation around. Rogers has, of course, shown no signs of doing that.

    If we put the Marcum deal in the context of a rebuilding team now, it makes perfect sense. Now it’s time to do the same thing with the rest of the players on this team. There’s no point in winning 85 games again.

  40. So, you don’t think that Boston and New York’s rosters looked as though they were taking a step back after watching them last season? Morosi actually wrote an article suggesting exactly that.

  41. Why would I think that? Because Tampa beat them out? They were still both among the top 3 teams in baseball. They always will be as long as they have money to spend.

    • I assumed you were aware of how players regress after a particular age and that the Red Sox and Yankees both relied on older players in key positions last season. My bad.

  42. The Yankees and Red Sox have been relying on older players in key positions for years now. When they get too old and lose their ability, they just discard them and buy new ones. Did you miss the past five years or something? Why would that change?

  43. Really, there’s no reason to ever think NYY and BOS will ever come back to the pack. Their owners won’t let that happen. The only way to beat them to join them at the top.

  44. I’ll have to disagree with you parkes. Youkilis played his home games in Fenway whereas Gonzalez played his games in Petco. Also, off the top of my head it seems that the AL East is full of parks that are more friendly to hitters.

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