Carl Crawford. Four time All-Star, Gold Glove winner, and a very rich man. Once one of the most dynamic players in Major League Baseball during his tenure in Tampa Bay, he was ripe for the taking in 2011. Naturally, a team with deep pockets signed him to a huge contract: 7 years, $142 million.
That team that signed him was the Boston Red Sox. Crawford hardly lived up to his money, with a slash line of .260/.292/.419 during his time in the Northeast. These are the numbers of a less than mediocre player, not a superstar. We all remember what happened next: the Red Sox found a team to dump the salaries of Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Crawford, which was worth $262.5 million.
The Red Sox acquired five players from the Dodgers in the trade, and none became everyday players. However, with all the freed cash, the Red Sox signed clubhouse leaders such as Jonny Gomes, Shane Victorino, and Mike Napoli.
So what has become of those three huge names to leave Boston in 2010? Josh Beckett has since retired, Adrian Gonzalez is a fan favorite/very productive player, and Carl Crawford was designated for assignment two days ago. Unless a team signs Crawford in the next week or so, the Dodgers are prepared to eat the $35 million remaining in his contract.
Who got the better end of the deal? Most would argue that Boston did, as this decision was largely financial, and Gonzalez could not handle playing in Boston. The Red Sox would go on to win the World Series in 2013, and the players they signed with the money saved with this trade were a large part of the reason why. Los Angeles is still a team wallowing in mediocrity, and have not advanced past the NLCS since 1989.
So, best of luck to Carl Crawford as he moves into a life without major league baseball, and best of luck to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ front office the next time someone offers to dump salaries onto them.