It’s pretty clear that Carl Crawford will be the most sought after free agent on the market this winter, and the Red Sox will be one of many teams to show a keen interest in the multi-dimensional outfielder.
The question is, will that interest be mutual? According to CSNNE.com’s Sean McAdam, factors such as weather and market size could make Crawford hesitant to sign with Boston…
Here is McAdam’s explanation:
“Crawford is from Houston and is said to be less than thrilled with playing in cold weather. Moreover, he’s shown himself to be somewhat thin-skinned when it comes to criticism, making some wonder whether playing in a heavily-scrutinized town is a good fit.”
Apart from April and October, I’m not sure that weather will be too big an issue if Crawford comes to Beantown. Then again, he’s used to cozy, indoor playoff games at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay.
But if market size is a legitimate concern for the 29-year-old, teams like the Angels (who have been rumored as one of the favorites to land Crawford) could have the upper hand if contract offers are similar.
Crawford has played in the AL East for his entire career and should fully understand the constant pressure applied by media and fans in Boston and New York. The Yankees seem to be focusing their attention on Cliff Lee but could easily enter the Crawford sweepstakes at any moment.
Crawford is a .253 hitter in 21 career playoff games with an unimpressive .287 on-base percentage. He hit just .143 in this year’s ALDS against the Rangers.
It’s worth noting that his best playoff series came in the 2008 ALCS against the Red Sox. In those 7 games (3 of which were played at Fenway Park), he hit .345 with 14 total bases.
Crawford has played 76 career games at Fenway, hitting .275 with just 4 home runs. He smashed a career best 19 homers this season, also setting new career highs in RBI (90), slugging percentage (.495), and OPS (.851).
Expect the free agent outfielder to get at least $20 million per season. The Red Sox may not be willing to pay that price for Crawford, but if they are, will he be willing to accept the offer?