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The Red Sox have made the biggest splash yet on the free agent market, agreeing to terms with free agent outfielder Carl Crawford. The Sox are set to sign the former Tampa Bay Ray to a seven-year, $142 million deal to play left field, according to the Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham.
The guys at MLB Trade Rumors note that the signing of Crawford puts pressure on the Red Sox rivals. The Angels lose a chance to grab their top offseason target. The Rays lose their franchise player to a division rival and have to play him 18 times per year. The Yankees lose their Plan B should they fail to sign Cliff Lee, and the Rangers lose their chance to make a splash for a position player.
Crawford becomes the first player to land a nine-figure contract without ever registering a 20-homer season (he had 19 HRs last season). Because Crawford was a Type A free agent, the Rays pick up two draft picks from the Red Sox. The Sox picked up a better first round pick when the Tigers signed Victor Martinez.
The additions of Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez give the Red Sox a lefthander-heavy lineup, but it would seem that management is OK with that. The lineup automatically becomes one of the best in baseball, and the team will definitely be fine without Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre. Oh, and the team may yet add Russel Martin to bolster catcher and infield depth.
Last season, Crawford hit .307 with 19 HRs and 90 RBI last season as the team’s No. 3 hitter. He also stole 47 bases and scored 110 runs.