With news that the Rays and Carl Crawford have decided to postpone contract talks until after the season, speculation has already started on what type of contract CC might command in the open-market

Opinion as to how much Crawford will earn was varied among a group of nearly 20 agents and club executives polled on Thursday by FOXSports.com. Some of the most common estimates centered on five-year deals worth between $12 million and $16 million per annum…Others believed that Crawford’s annual salary should approach the $18 million that Torii Hunter will receive from the Angels in each of the next three seasons. Hunter, though, has the added value of playing center field and having hit over 20 home runs eight times.

A 29-year old player whose game is based on speed? Our feeling is that most clubs will only want to give Crawford a 5-year deal, but somebody will go as high 7-years to get it done. We still think 7-years, $100 million (~$15M/yr) will be Crawford’s new deal when the smoke settles.

This is why we were surprised the Rays and Crawford were negotiating at all. What can you do if you are the Rays? Maybe the team can stretch and offer 4-years, $48 million ($12M/yr). But even if the Rays do put their best offer on the table, they take the risk of Crawford laughing at best and being genuinely insulted at worst. Which is why there is a good chance the Rays never discussed numbers even if there were “negotiations.”

So now we wait. We wait and see how the Rays perform in the first-half. We wait and see how Desmond Jennings plays in the first-half. We wait and see if the Rays get an offer they can’t refuse prior to the trade-deadline. And if that offer is significantly better than the two draft picks they would receive for CC walking as a free agent, we wait and see if the Rays say “yes” even if they are still in the race.



  1. Rob says:

    I imagine both sides have to make an "attempt" to negotiate, if only, to help down the line public relations wise.

  2. Dirtbag Fan says:

    Crawford is a sentimental favorite. He WAS the best player this franchise had ever had... he WAS the face of the organization... he WAS worth every penny the Rays could scrape up... the times they are a changin'

    What good would it do to keep Crawford at an inflated price and in exchange have to give up the ability to compete?

    Crawford stuck around when most anyone else would've demanded a way out, he has been an amazing representative of a crappy franchise, and for those things he'll always be respected and remembered, but reality dictates that its time for the CC in Tampa book to close.

    And as a sidenote: contrary to popular belief, if left to choose between CC and Pena next season, I'd honestly take Pena's big bat and gold glove infield play over CC's achy knees and storied history.

    • Don says:

      Gave up on this repetative discussion....
      But one more thought: YOU ARE AN IDIOT!

      • Dirtbag Fan says:

        Did you (a moronic troll) seriously just call me (a fan/writer who actually has a brain) an idiot? Really?

        Pretty sure you know nothing about... well, anything.

        Move out of your mom's basement and learn about the game before you troll around trying to blow smoke you impotent queen of idiocy! You good-for-nothing piece of slimy pond scum! You useless, moronic, brainless, dumpster-diving loser.


  3. td says:

    This is pretty much in line with what I see him getting. Much of his value is based around his speed and defense. Neither of those attributes age well. At this point, there is zero chance the Rays resign CC....which is about the same chance as we thought several months ago. Desmond Jennings should be able to replace CC's defense in LF, and the initial offensive dropoff isnt worth $15 million a year for 6 years. In fact, I dont even think it is worth $10 million at this point. Dont get me wrong, he is worth the money elsewhere, but not for a team like the Rays that has other, less expensive options. I love CC, but his time with the Rays is up after this season.

  4. Don says:

    You people sound like defendants of the Rays position....
    Let me ask you why CC is NOT worth $15 mil a year....he can do/does everything you can ask of a player....Avg., Defense, stolen bases, no problems, should be the vocal leader if he wasn't a bit on shy/quiet side,
    He is the BEST player we have, has been underpaid for years, suffered thru shit teams...and he still doesn't complain...PAY HIM...
    You want to save salary: Burrell, Pena, Navarro, Wheeler ..thats $25mil
    Want more Upton (Jennings best spot), Sorano(7mil) he's gone for more
    money....get rid of all of them...what do you lose?
    Get rid of CC... you lose one of the BEST players in baseball TODAY!...PAY HIM!

  5. Em says:

    Yeah. I'm with this guy. Carl Crawford is the only franchise player Tampa Bay has. Chalking it up to "the realities of small-market ball" sounds like giving up without a fight to me. There is plenty of room in the roster with which to free up payroll. Crawford may not be the best player in the major leagues; he may not be "worth" $15 million. But what other player is there whose name immediately brings to mind Tampa Bay (other than Evan Longoria, who is still young)? That, I think, is more important than keeping payroll down. The Rays are never going to be taken seriously by Major League Baseball or its fans unless it strengthens its image. As much as it looks like Crawford is already gone thanks to Stu Sternberg's cheap-ass mouth, the organization should be doing more to try and keep him around.

  6. td says:

    Or defendants of reality.... Hmmmm, Friedman or Don....who knows more?

  7. td says:

    So let me get this right.... You want to spend 1/4 of the payroll on a guy that is replaceable? Jennings can produce the same defense, and offense that certainly isnt $15 million worse then CC. CC had his worst yearin 2008(below league average offensively), and the Rays went to the World Series. He is replaceable....

  8. dont get me wrong. I do think Crawford is worth the money. I am not sure I would give him 7-years, but he is worth the money. My point is just that the Rays can't afford that. It is not reasonable to have 25% of the payroll dedicated to one player when Desmond Jennings is waiting in the wings to do nearly the same work at a fraction of the cost.

    I'm not taking sides here. Just explaining what will probably happen.


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