Carl Crawford

Carl Crawford still has two years and close to $42 million left on the 7-year, $142 million contract he signed with the Boston Red Sox after the 2010 season. That deal has been bad and it keeps getting worse.

Crawford just found out he is now the backup left fielder for the Dodgers and will mostly be a pinch-hitter.

“They told me there will be a lot of at-bats for me, but [Andre Ethier] starts, and he’s earned it,” said Crawford, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. “I’ll get spot starts and be ready to pinch-hit for the pitcher a lot. That’s pretty much it — just be ready to come off the bench.”

From Business Insider:

In the two seasons before signing his contract with the Red Sox, Crawford averaged 6.8 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) with 17 home runs, 54 stolen bases, a .306 average, and a .360 OBP. In the five years since leaving the Tampa Bay Rays in free agency, Crawford has averaged 1.2 WAR, with 6 home runs, 14 stolen bases, a .276 average, and a .314 OBP.

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Anybody still think the Rays should have kept Crawford? On the flip-side, the Rays could probably get Crawford for almost nothing right now. Instead of being a backup outfielder for the Dodgers, he could come home to the Trop and serve as a backup outfielder with the Rays.

On a serious note, it is sad how far Crawford has fallen. At one point he was one of the best players in baseball and one of the players at the heart of the Rays’ climb to the top. Now he is a 34-year-old pinch-hitter.

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6 Comments

  1. Nathan says:

    And yet MLB clubs still dole out monster contracts. When are they going to learn? The media have somehow justified each WAR is worth $10M or whatever it is. If I had the money as an owner, I'd more closely follow the Rays system then that of the Yankees or Dodgers.

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  2. woodrow744 says:

    Carl Crawford got exactly what he was dreaming of, when he spent his formative years in left field wearing a Devil Rays uniform. He is extremely wealthy and can retire to Houston (or wherever) and live out his days knowing he was one of the few to grab the "golden ring" in professional baseball.

    The Dodgers, too got what they were dreaming of just a few years ago when they filed for bankruptcy protection. Now, under new ownership including Magic Johnson, they can easily eat such a crummy contract - more magic! Andrew Friedman must love the irony.

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  3. Geoff Peterson says:

    No one bothered to gauge the impact of Crawford playing 9 years on artificial turf before backing up the Brinks truck.

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  4. Dave says:

    It's easy to enjoy some sort of shadenfreude here, but the truth is these bad contacts also impact the Rays directly -- the arbitration values of rookies are based upon the average salaries of all active players. When some guy on the Dodgers bench earns $21 million it affects the salary of Rays arbitration eligible players. It raises the average salary value of all outfielders by about $600k, so Crawford sitting on the bench in LA is costing the Rays several $100k each time our outfielders are arb eligible...

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    • OriginalTom says:

      Are you sure that is true? I though when a case goes to arbitration the arbiter is specific about comparing each player to someone with similar service time.

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  5. Gus says:

    Crawford was a great Ray, but when he lost his legs and his health in Boston, it was over for him.

    He was the first of Chuck Lamar's super-athletic draft picks to hit it big -- most of the others drafted by that regime flamed out without much long-term impact (Dukes, Doug Johnson and, even dare I say it -- Baldelli (still love you man)). Delmon, Bossman, Desmond and Josh Hamilton have had checkered careers but lots of service time.

    Of all of those guys (except Hamilton I guess), Crawford will have had the best career. I'm glad he got paid, and even more glad it wasn't the Rays doing the paying. And you never know, with that team he might find himself with a key role in the playoffs when somebody else goes down and probably do a good job.

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