We spoke with someone with knowledge of the situation on Friday who told us that Crawford is “livid” over management’s decision to pick up his 2010 club option for $10 million rather than renegotiate a contract extension, which was agreed upon by the two sides when Crawford first signed his contract. “He wants out of Tampa bad,” is what we were told. “He had a handshake agreement with management that they would renegotiate the contract instead of picking up the option and they went ahead and did it anyway. He’s pissed beyond belief.”
Of course, the biggest problem with this report is Crawford signed his current deal prior to the 2005 season. Stuart Sternberg did not take control of the team until after the 2005 season and Andrew Friedman was not with the Rays when the extension was signed. So even if there was a “handshake agreement” between Crawford and the previous front office, there is no reason to think that would still be honored now.
And of course there is the absurd notion that both sides would agree to a team option and at the same time have a “handshake agreement” that it would never be picked up. Chuck LaMar did some dumb things, but even he isn’t that dumb.
Also, this report does not jive with Crawford’s recent comments that he is open to a long-term deal, but is willing to play the 2010 season without an extension.
“I hope we can get something done, but if not I’ll just go into next season, do what I have to do and try to help the team win and go from there.”
That sure doesn’t sound like a guy that would be “pissed beyond belief,” about his option being picked up.
Report: Crawford Wants Out Of Tampa [NY Baseball Digest]