Monday, January 10, 2011

Sox Surprised Crawford with Offer

According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, Carl Crawford was taken back by Boston’s seven year $142M contract offer last month.  

“Man, to be honest with you,” Crawford said, “if everything was the same, I think I’d rather go to Boston.”


Then, Peters shared details of the Red Sox’ seven-year, $142 million offer, which already had gotten intercontinental approval from owners John W. Henry and Tom Werner, who were tending to their new English Premier League team.

“He told me the dollar amount,” Crawford said, “and I almost got into a wreck on the freeway.”

I don’t know about you, but it’s rare that I’m so surprised by news that it nearly causes me to drive into another vehicle at 70 MPH.  Based on his statements, he sounded like he was pretty surprised…maybe even shocked by the offer. It sounds to me like the Red Sox might have been able to pick up Crawford for cheaper.  So by how much cheaper could the Red Sox have gotten Crawford?  That’s a complicated question. 

When the Nationals signed Jayson Werth to a seven year $126M contract with a (groan) full no trade clause that set the market for Crawford’s services.  Crawford is both younger and more talented than Werth, so it only makes sense to start with Werth’s contract parameters and go from there.  While I’m slightly bothered by the fact that the only confirmed competing offer was by the Angels for six years and $108M, that was a gross underbid.  They didn’t have a prayer of getting Crawford to agree that deal, so assuming that Boston overbid based on the Angels offer alone would be foolish.

It might’ve behooved the Red Sox to try a lower bid (perhaps by matching the Jayson Werth contract to start) to see what happened.  It is possible Crawford would’ve jumped at the bid, which would’ve allowed them to save $16M over the next seven years.  Still, that seems a little far fetched, doesn’t it?  I have to imagine his agent would’ve informed him of his value in the wake of the Werth signing, and convinced him to hold out for more money.  In the end, he probably still ends up signing for the same seven year contract at $142M. 


  1. While I agree, Boston paid market value for Crawford,I'm curious as to what type of contract he could have been signed to prior to the Werth deal. Could they have saved $20M by acting sooner, before the Nats raised the bar with the Werth deal?

  2. @JB-3 - I also think that Boston paid market value for Crawford. Based on my projections, he'll provide more than enough value to cover the $142M they owe him over the next seven years. You're right, it would've been very interesting to see how much he would've gotten if he'd signed before Werth. At the start of free agency, I had him pegged at 6/$108, but that was assuming the average value of a win was between $4-4.2M for 2011.