LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. – Unlike Jayson Werth’s 7-year, $126 million contract, the money the Red Sox bestowed upon Carl Crawford has garnered little outrage at the Winter Meetings.
Really, the enormity of the contract was consistent with Boston’s spending habits and a surprisingly high-priced free agent market.
The big surprise, of course, was that the Red Sox – not the Angels – landed the 29-year-old outfielder. But disappointed as the Los Angeles media was, few here feel the Angels blew a huge opportunity.
Primarily, they get a pass because of the huge contract. Boston simply blew the Los Angeles offer out of the water. In fact, the Halos only raised their offer to $126 million yesterday – $16 million less than the contract Crawford eventually signed – having initially offered a reported $108M. That money just wouldn’t cut it in this year’s market.
But it’s also worth noting the Angels already possess outfielders with Crawford’s best tools – good speed and excellent defence. In fact, they moved perennial Gold Glove centre-fielder Torii Hunter to right field to make room for speedy defensive wiz Peter Bourjos.
Between those two players (both under control for several more years), Bobby Abreu, a slew of solid bench outfielders, and one of the top outfield prospects in baseball (Mike Trout, set to arrive in 2012), a Crawford signing would have caused a logjam. Manager Mike Scioscia said as much during his Tuesday press conference, when his team was still in the mix for Crawford.
Now, the Angels will set their sights on Rafael Soriano and Adrian Beltre — two Boras clients who figure to command eight-figure contracts — and hope Lee moves out of the AL West.
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