If an owner or GM comments on a player from another team, it is called “tampering.” If Torii Hunter nudges Carl Crawford to the Angels, that’s called “advice.”
“I’ve been playing eight years, so I know how nice it is here,” Crawford said. “Torii just kind of reminds me sometimes”…Hunter claimed he had “nothing to do” with Crawford’s locker placement (next to CC)…”He’s just a good friend — I just give him good advice,” Hunter said. “I was a free agent once. I told him to have fun with it. It’s like being recruited in high school … it’s not tampering, is it? Not for we players…”He’s going to make his own decision. He’s a grown man. I might make a couple of phone calls here and there. I’m pretty sure he’ll stay in Tampa Bay, but he has the right to flirt with other teams.”
So after talking to Crawford, Hunter thinks Crawford will re-sign with the Rays? Interesting. Still seems unlikely, but that is the best news we have heard in a while. Still, we’re not getting our hopes up.
We’ve said it before…re-signing Crawford makes all kinds of sense for 2011, 2012 and even 2013. But what the Rays can’t afford is a declining Crawford at $15 million in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
But there is hope. Right now salaries are a bit depressed. That is, the top players are not making as much now as they were 4-5 years ago. Might Crawford be willing to sign a 2-3 year deal with the hope that the economy is stronger at the end of the deal? Still sounds like a long-shot, but for those of you praying that Crawford is in a Rays uniform next season, this might be your only hope.