A source confirmed on Wednesday that the Boston Red Sox and former Tampa Bay outfield Carl Crawford have come terms on a seven-year, $142 million deal, just days after the Red Sox signed power hitting first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from San Diego.
Crawford will become the first position player to sign a $100-million contract without ever having a 20 home run season. He also becomes the first Red Sox player in history with a contract annual value in excess of $20 million.
The news of the agreement was first reported by the Boston Globe on its website.
The 29-year-old Crawford apparently received four offers but the Red Sox and the Angels were in a head to head race as which team would offer him the best contract. But the Red Sox had been aggressively pursuing Crawford and Jayson Werth and on Sunday night when Werth signed with the Washington Nationals, the Red Sox knew what they had to do.
The Red Sox get a four-time All-Star, a Silver Slugger winner and a Gold Glove winner last season in Crawford. Over his nine year career, he has a .296 batting average, while hitting 104 home runs and 592 RBIs. But there is a bigger reason the Red Sox might be happy to have acquired Crawford. During his career, Crawford has hit .300 and stole 62 bases against the Red Sox, including a major league record six in one game in 2009.
“Behind the scenes, they’re going to get one of the hardest-working ballplayers in the league,” former Rays outfield Rocco Baldelli told ESPN. “There’s nobody out there that’s going to give himself a better chance to succeed than Carl is.”
Crawford’s contract also would be the second largest in terms of average salary all-time for outfielders, trailing only the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Manny Ramirez who made $22.5 million a year.
Crawford was drafted in the second round of the 1999 amateur draft by the then Tampa Bay Devil Rays and made his debut for the club in July of 2002. He helped take a team that was the laughing stock of the league and turn them into World Series contenders, helping the franchise make its first ever World Series appearance in 2008, only to fall short to the Philadelphia Phillies in five games.
A public press conference has not been scheduled nor has Crawford’s physical. Once he passes the physical a news conference is expected to be held. We just have to wonder if Crawford is worth the kind of money that the best players in the league get.