Will Carl Crawford be wearing a Devil Rays uniform in 2007? Rumors have swirled all season that Crawford could be traded. At the time it was widely believed that the Rays were not shopping C. C. but may have just been approached by other teams. Now comes the latest report from Joel Sherman’s article in the New York Post that the Rays may actively pursue a trade of Crawford with the hopes of landing some top pitching talent. First, for those that are not familiar with New York tabloids, we need to keep in mind that this is the New York Post we are talking about. They are still a tabloid that will say just about anything to sell a paper. Sherman does not say where he obtains any of his information. He doesn’t even list the usual unnamed sources. So is there any truth to this newest rumor? On the surface, it makes sense. The Rays do have other options in the outfield. Jonny Gomes will return next season from shoulder surgery and could resume outfield duties. The Rays could move one of their infielders to left field. Both B. J. Upton and Jorge Cantu have good bats and subpar gloves and may be better suited in the outfield. Then there is always the free agent market where it would much easier to find a suitable left field replacement than a top of the rotation starter. And of course Elijah Dukes is still in the picture (barely) at AAA.
If Carl Crawford is available, what would it take to pry him off the hands of the Rays? Keep in mind that C. C. is young (25), on the verge of being a perennial All-Star, and is signed to a modest contract through 2010. Carl Crawford is The Perfect Storm for an organization. And that makes him an extremely valuable commodity. MLB Trade Rumors came up with a list of several of the top pitching prospects that could be used to try and obtain Crawford. Would one of these can’t miss prospects be enough to land Crawford? It is hard to imagine the Rays would part with a proven player before his prime for a prospect or prospects. If there is anything we have learned, is that there is no such thing as a can’t miss prospect. Would a team be willing to part with a proven young pitcher for a left fielder? The name that comes to mind for us is Justin Verlander of the Tigers. A young proven pitcher on a team with pitching depth. Jim Leyland has clamored all season for more speed on his team.
The Rays know they have other options in the outfield. More importantly, they know to be a successful major league franchise they need three things, Pitching, Pitching, Pitching. It would not surprise us if the Rays pursued trade options for Crawford this off-season, but it would surprise us even more if he is traded. When the dust settles, we believe that other teams will balk at the asking price, and C. C. will still be wearing a Rays uniform in 2007 and beyond and patrolling left field at The Trop.
- Last night the Rays did what they always do on the road…Lose. Big Papi extended his new Red Sox team record with his 54th home run as the Scarlett Hose beat the Rays 5-1. Maybe Joe Maddon should shift one or two of his infielders into the right field bleachers.
- If the Rays lose four of their last five games, they will become the first team in over 60 years to have a winning record at home and win less than a quarter of their games on the road.
- Jeremy Hellickson was named the top prospect of the New York-Penn league by Baseball America.
- He is a 110 years old and the oldest remaining Negro League player. He played for the Homestead Grays in 1913. He must have the strongest heart ever.