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Could Carl Crawford soon be trade bait?

Jan 24, 2010, 10:50 AM EDT

3410.jpgThat’s what Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe is hearing:

The feeling is that if the Rays’ financial picture gets any gloomier,
Crawford will be trade bait by the trading deadline or even earlier. In
fact, both he and Carlos Pena could have new addresses at some point in the season.

This really shouldn’t surprise anyone. The 28-year-old Crawford — who had his $10 million option picked up by the Rays in November — is on the verge of hitting free agency for the first time. General manager Andrew Friedman has expressed a desire to lock Crawford up with an extension, but knowing that he could receive a contract equal to, if not better than what Chone Figgins and Jason Bay found this winter, it would be a surprise to see him take a discount.

The loss of Crawford would be a blow, both for his contributions on offense and defense, but fortunately the Rays have 23-year-old outfielder Desmond Jennings quickly rising through their minor league system. There’s many who say he’s ready to contribute at a high level in the major leagues right now, so while I wouldn’t expect Friedman to operate with any particular timetable in mind, it would be an easier sell to the fan base if they were looking up at the Red Sox and Yankees in July.

  1. John Pileggi - Jan 24, 2010 at 12:47 PM

    If only the Mets had some young talent to deal for him with……

  2. G man - Jan 24, 2010 at 2:12 PM

    he will be in pinstripes by next off season

  3. Andrew - Jan 24, 2010 at 3:07 PM

    I’m not even a Rays fan and this is depressing.

  4. john pileggi - Jan 24, 2010 at 4:00 PM

    I know there are already revenue sharing and luxury taxes, bit how about special assessment for the Twins, Rays and Marlins to hold Mauer, Crawford, etc.? As well as all 3 have done in filling if for lost talent, they can use a break.

  5. Alusna - Jan 24, 2010 at 6:37 PM

    Salary caps are the only way to provide some sense of equality and competitiveness.

  6. Fred - Jan 24, 2010 at 6:40 PM

    Destined to be a Yankee, but what a shame that Tampa Bay will not be able to retain there young talent and continue to compete with Boston and the Yankees.

  7. Alan - Jan 24, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    Boston and New York media types need to get these “Rays will trim payroll” stories out of their systems now, because there ain’t gonna be no salary dumps when the Rays are battling for a playoff spot come the trade deadline.

  8. Captain Fantastic - Jan 24, 2010 at 8:08 PM

    “Salary caps are the only way to provide some sense of equality and competitiveness.”
    What in tarnation would ever compel the players’ union to accept a salary cap? The sports is extremely healthy. The money is there. Why decide that the owners should be allowed to keep a higher percentage?

  9. Peri - Jan 25, 2010 at 1:41 AM

    Because a salary cap is the only thing that will allow the smaller markets to compete. I say this as a die hard Yankees fan. I also believe we should have a salary bottom so that teams can’t horde their revenue sharing money and not invest in their team. It would be for the good of the game.

  10. Joe - Jan 25, 2010 at 3:24 AM

    During spring training the Rays will trade Carl Crawford to the Yankees. The Rays will do the trade because Crawford wants to try free agency or hit it on a big contract. Why the teams are waiting for spring training is so the Rays can see how there team is coming along and to see what holes really need to be filled. Most likely the first player the Yankees give up in this deal will be Gardner plus 3 to 4 minor leaguers. One other thing I would say, with all the money the top level teams are paying out to the bottom / small market teams, why is it the money goes into the owners pockets and not used to advance the team and its on field needs. Why is MLB not enforcing the use of this money for the good of the game and the teams and what is put out on the playing field. Sometimes it looks like the top teams hold back against the basement dwelling teams so those teams get a few feel good wins. The money that is shared by the teams should be put back into the teams or it should be stopped being done.

  11. Captain Fantastic - Jan 25, 2010 at 9:49 AM

    “Because a salary cap is the only thing that will allow the smaller markets to compete.”
    Even if what you are saying is true, my original question stands. What is in it for the players’ union? Why would they choose to accept such a constraint? I think you would be hard pressed to find any player that would want salary caps in his industry.

  12. Rays fan - Jan 25, 2010 at 10:38 AM

    (Assuming the injury bug doesn’t strike) I expect the Rays to be in the thick of the division race when the trade deadline rolls around. Crawford and Pena won’t be traded. The Yankees fans think the Rays will just ship them one of their best players are delusional. We Rays fans (both of us) can only hope that there are enough butts in the stands to make trying to re-sign him next off season worth it, rather than follow the Marlins’ modus operandi.

  13. Rays fan - Jan 25, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    Earth to the Yankees fans–the Rays are in your division–even if they do end up trading Crawford, it won’t be to the Yankees. Wait til next off season for Steinbrenner to blow huge dollars on him, or whoever he decides he wants.

  14. moreflagsmorefun - Jan 25, 2010 at 12:56 PM

    I’m not even a Rays fan and this is depressing.
    Try Midol, My wife swears by it.

  15. moreflagsmorefun - Jan 25, 2010 at 1:02 PM

    The Yankees fans think the Rays will just ship them one of their best players are delusional.
    Why would he stay in Tampa, that place is for dead people, what can he win there, have they ever won anything there, that team should be sold to a Japanese Sushi Restaurant and sent to play in Asias Restaurant Workers League.

  16. moreflagsmorefun - Jan 25, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    revenue sharing and luxury taxes,compensation draft picks, and much more, this is not enough, maybe they should spot these teams four runs a game too.

  17. moreflagsmorefun - Jan 25, 2010 at 1:09 PM

    Did you start drinking at 9:00 am because your
    talking like a drunkard again.

  18. Rays fan - Jan 25, 2010 at 1:23 PM

    Your reasoning might have validity if the topic were Crawford going to NY as a free agent next year, but it wasn’t–the topic was that the Rays will not trade one of their best players to a competitor within the division. Likewise, they will not trade him to the BoSox. If the Evil Empire or the Sawx get him, it will be during next year’s free agency.

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