Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Red Sox Meeting with Crawford

The Hot Stove League is finally starting to heat up.  Tim Brown reported via Twitter that the Red Sox are meeting with Carl Crawford in Houston today.  Based on the early reports, Crawford is reportedly looking for a 5-6 year deal around worth around $18-20M per season.  (My projections have him worth approximately $18M per season over the next six years.)  While this seems a bit high to me, it actually falls in line with the higher than expected contracts doled out so far this offseason.

Crawford looks to be a great fit in Boston.  He's young, athletic, plays Fielding Bible Award quality defense, and has good extra base power.  While he only has a league average walk rate, Crawford is patient at the plate and knows how to work the count (3.75 pitchers per PA in 2009 and 2010).  Ideally, Crawford would hit out of the number two spot in the lineup; however, he's skilled enough and carries enough power that he'd be a candidate to hit out of the three spot occasionally.  In a way, he kind of reminds me of Tim Raines in his prime. 

The Red Sox have plenty of competition with Crawford.  The Angels have to be considered the co-front runners in Crawford sweepstakes, and the Yankees can never be underestimated.  The Red Sox appear to be very serious about acquiring Crawford.  While the Red Sox are not ones to overpay for a particular player, I can't imagine them letting another marquee player slip through their fingers.

UPDATE:  Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reports Crawford might be looking for an eight year deal.  I don't see this happening.  I don't see either the Red Sox or the Angels agreeing to such a deal, as it would take Crawford into his age-37 season.  My projections have Crawford being a 2 WAR player in his age-35 season making any seven or eight year deal prohibitive.  I still expect Crawford to sign a six year deal with an average annual salary around $20M.

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