A Carl Crawford Red Sox deal snuck up on everyone yesterday. The Carl Crawford Red Sox contract stunned those who believed the Angels had the upper hand. With new rumors swirling that the Rays free agent would go to Los Angeles, it appeared Boston wouldn’t get a second major newcomer. After acquiring Adrian Gonzalez last weekend, even Boston didn’t appear to have enough for another big deal. However, Crawford is a Red Sox anyway, as his $142 million contract capped off a huge week for the club.
Boston already stands to break the bank with Adrian Gonzalez after getting him from San Diego in a trade. His contract may be worth up to $150 million when all is said and done – which means they could spend almost $300 million on two players now.
There was still enough left over for Crawford’s contract to be made official last night. In addition to Gonzalez’s expensive new deal, they will also spend $142 million on the former Ray over the next seven years.
After missing the playoffs last year, and seeming to have their dynasty on its last legs, Boston has suddenly become all-powerful again. By shoring up their offense in two big ways, and giving help to Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia and their other stars, the team has become a World Series favorite all over again.
Yet the biggest short term effect of Crawford’s recruitment may be felt in New York. The Yankees have been upping the ante to get Cliff Lee, and Boston’s two major moves gives them more incentive. Now that their arch-rivals have gotten two of the biggest bats in free agency, the Yankees need another ace to strike them out.
The latest reports have the Yankees giving in to Lee’s request for seven years. With the new salaries for Gonzalez, Crawford and Jayson Werth, Lee now stands to be worth even more to New York. Werth’s $126 million contract was said to have pushed Crawford’s worth up, so the biggest pitcher on the market can command even more than both of them.
The 2010 season did not come down to Boston vs New York for once. Yet the Crawford deal, combined with Gonzalez’s signing and the Yankees’ drive for Lee, has turned the offseason into another Yankees-Red Sox duel. Therefore, after a season where other teams actually took the spotlight, it might be all Boston and New York once again in 2011.
Sporting News- “Crawford’s deal is great news for Red Sox, and others”
Providence Journal- “Crawford signing virtually the perfect move for Red Sox”