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.

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9 Comments

  1. Rob says:

    You're on to something. Maybe the Rays can offer a L/T deal structured to their needs as you laid out, but with a couple of places for Carl Crawford to bail for greener pastures, so to speak. That way Tampa Bay isn't facing the Sword of Damocles, but Carl gets a lot of security. It would make planning harder and still has risk, but probably worth that if it means keeping Crawford for even one more season.

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  2. Yertown says:

    The Rays will offer what Carl needs, and he will sign with the Rays. Before then, he will have the opportunity to show all the other players and the fans what he could have done with the Yankees and the others. He has earned that right. Both sides know they can get the deal done in the end, but it will not happen until free agency opens and the chess pieces are all played.

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  3. Ben says:

    I wouldn't be that optimistic, it all comes down to how big a home town discount Carl is willing to give. Be assured other teams will be making better offers that we can not afford to match. & I wouldn't blame him if he wants to finally cash in big, since this likely will the last time in his career he will be able to command this type of $

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    • Hal says:

      CC allready said that his "hometown" is Houston - so I doubt we're getting any kind of discount. Theres no way CC is with us next year and we'd be worse off if he is. I love CC - my favorite Ray of all time and its not even close. We just cannot pay one player a third of our payroll.

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      • Matt says:

        I kind of agree with you. As much as I love Carl, I think the Rays cant afford to pay him that much money. I mean not resigning him could help us sign maybe two more players that are pretty good and Jennings would come up as well. Hopefully the Rays will get an outfield bat that they can have next season along with Zobrist and Jennings.

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  4. Billy says:

    From Torii's mouth to God's ears...

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  5. Leighroy says:

    I think the rays can resign CC but here's how they'd have to do it:

    This year just keep the team intact and go for it all baby.

    Offseason:
    Resign CC for something like 3 years 18mil and give him club options for more years if necessary.
    Burrell's 9mil comes off the books.
    Soriano's 8mil likely to jump higher next year; too pricey, he's gone.
    Pena won't command a higher contract than he has already because of his K's and avg.
    Brignac has shown promise that he can he can be an every day SS so let Bartlett and his 4mil walk.
    Shields or Garza get traded for prospects, call Hellickson up.

    Before you know it you've resigned CC and Pena while finding a savings of 15+ mil. Our payroll is at 72mil this year and Sternberg claimed he wanted to get to 60 mil correct?

    Violla! And enough money left over to resign our relievers...

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