That's the headline in Tom Verducci's piece on the Carl Crawford signing. The Red Sox shocked the baseball world. Really? I mean, yeah, I'm shocked. I'm amazed. I just don't think I'm shocked and amazed in the way that Verducci is talking about:
…. Boston somehow turned $142 million into stealth money, agreeing to make Carl Crawford the second-highest paid outfielder in baseball history with hardly a moment of preparation by those outside their own suite. It was a rare “wow” moment in a Twitter-mad world.
“Fucking Theo,” one GM said of Boston general manager Theo Epstein. “What a brilliant move.”
Brilliant? Um, people, we're talking about Carl Crawford, who is now the second-highest paid outfielder in baseball history. I just took a quick look at Crawford's stats, and let me just note that they don't jump out at you. Crawford's career-high in doubles is 30. His career-high in home runs is 19. His career-high in walks is 51. He's scored 100 runs just three times in nine seasons. Sure he's been above 90 a couple of times as well, but, you know, since he's never driven in 100, and he's stealing 50 bases a year, and hitting all those triples, you would think he'd be scoring 100 runs a season like clockwork. You'd think that, but you'd be wrong. I mean, he's a terrific ballplayer. He is good at a lot of things. He's fast, gets a lot of triples, steals a bunch, doesn't hit into double plays. But he strikes out twice as often as he walks, and, in reality, he just isn't that great a hitter. He's led the league in both triples and stolen bases four times, but other than that, what the hell is going on here?
This contract is awful. $20 million a year for a guy who is projected to hit 14 home runs and reach base 240 times? Really? Brilliant? I don't see it. Both he and Jason Werth absolutely owe their agents a Lear jet.
Just for the hell of it, let's throw out a little side by side:
Jayson Werth 106 R 164 H 46 2B 2 3B 27 HR 85 RBI 82 BB 147 SO
C. Crawford 110 R 184 H 30 2B 13 3B 19 HR 90 RBI 46 BB 104 S0
Derek Jeter 111 R 179 H 30 2B 3 3B 10 HR 67 RBI 63 BB 106 SO
Now, before you get your panties in a bunch, let me just make my point. I know these numbers don't encompass all of the value these players bring to the table. I'm just taking a quick and dirty look at these three ballplayers. First, let's remember that Jeter is a shortstop, and in the beginning of what is supposed to be the end of his career, and was basically offered a take it or leave it three year deal by the Yankees. These two guys are outfielders, they are supposed to be better hitters than a shortstop, and they just went out
and signed two of the richest contracts in baseball history. With all that said (and all that has been said), if their numbers don't blow Derek Jeter's numbers off the page, and they don't, then somebody just got their asses handed to them.
Sure they're younger. But still. Come on. Werth is 31, not 21. Crawford is 29, and wasn't he the guy who was supposed to be some kind of clubhouse cancer a few years ago. I mean, what the hell are the Cardinals gonna do with Pujols, now?