2013 MLB Preview: 20 Million Expectations For Carl Crawford
The date was August 25th, 2012 the day the Los Angeles Dodgers single handily relieved the Boston Red Sox of a plethora of payroll when they acquired agiing veterans Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez.
Crawford was injured at the time of the deal and has yet to play in a regular season game for the Dodgers. The one-time premier player, Crawford will look to rejuvenate his career on a team chalked with an enormous amount of talent and payroll.
Crawford who is slated to earn over 102 million for the next five seasons will attempt to return to his 2010 form. If Crawford fails to produce or returns to the disabled list, the Dodgers will have Yasiel Puig knocking on the door.
The 31 year old is deemed healthy and showed promise during limited spring training action batting .348 in 25 plate appearances. The true test will be whether he can become a terror on the base paths again having only stolen 23 bases in 161 games with the Red Sox over the span of two injury interrupted seasons.
If Crawford returns to his table setting form for the Dodgers, it will not bode well for their National League competition in an outfield worth double the payroll of the entire Houston Astros team.
Crawford is the x-factor for the Dodgers and if healthy could the lead the Dodgers to post season glory. If not, look for the Dodgers to deal Crawford for prospects, eat his remaining contract and promote the “Cuban Missile” in Puig.
We will have to wait and see how this episode of “The Rich and Famous” plays itself out.
Clayton Richer covers the Toronto Blue Jays for Rant Sports. Follow and interact with him on Twitter at @MLBHotCorner.