I haven't had time to jot down my thoughts on the Red Sox signing Carl Crawford but I do now so here goes.
In life timing is often everything. The signing of Carl Crawford was greeted by most Red Sox fans with glee but some weren't happy. He's over-paid. He'll be slow by the end of the contract. He smells funny. Where are you going to bat him - we already have a lead-off guy and a number three hitter. I didn't understand the criticisms of the move but I couldn't help but think that if the Red Sox flip-flopped their major acquisitions then things would have been all puppy dogs and pizza pies. If the Red Sox signed Crawford first before trading for Adrian Gonzalez then people would have just looked at the positives - he's a guy in his prime years who will solidify left field for years to come. And he's a guy who has killed the Red Sox in the past and now the Sox don't have to face him. The timing is a little thing and it doesn't change those positives. As far as I'm concerned it's all good in the hood.
The signing seriously screwed with some people - especially the Angels and the Yankees. Which is nice.
Crawford was the guy the Angels were supposed to get. He filled a number of needs for the team, he was best buddies with Torii Hunter, he had expressed a desire to play on the West Coast and maybe just as important as all of those - he wasn't represented by agent Scott Boras (who the Angels hate with the intensity of a thousand white hot suns). The Red Sox blindsided the Angels and now - ironically - of their only real options (Adrian Beltre, Cliff Lee and Rafael Soriano) the one that helps the team the closest to Crawford (Adrian Beltre) is represented by Scott Boras. The Angels could easily morph into the old Red Sox where they have to sign a shiny new free agent before Christmas no matter how well it fit the team's long term plans just to keep the fan base happy.
The Crawford signing has spawned full-on panic in Yankee land. Now they HAVE to sign Cliff Lee. They HAVE to! That seventh year in now guaranteed - no mystery team needed. And the dollar value keeps creeping up. There is no doubt in my mind that this contract will be an albatross the final two or three years of the agreement (and yes I understand that haters could say the same thing about Crawford). The Yankees will either have to grossly over-pay for Lee or lose him to the Rangers or Angels. It's all good.
I happen to like the Crawford signing very much. Baseball-reference.com lists Roberto Clemente as his most similar comparison by age. Wouldn't you like to have a 29-year old Clemente on your team? Comparing Crawford to Clemente isn't fair to Crawford. I do think he reminds me of JD Drew though - plus defender and OBP guy. The Red Sox ownership and front office have been very happy with that contract and I think Crawford will be even better.