Has it sunk in that Carl Crawford is now the highest paid outfielder in baseball? Carl Crawford, Highest paid outfielder in baseball? Just to put it in perspective Carl Crawford will be making roughly 2.5 million more than the entire Yankees outfield. Really it's not the amount of money though because we all know how much the Yankees spend. It's the money that Carl Crawford was given.
Let's Compare Carl Crawford and Brett Gardner. Here are their stat lines from 2010. Arguably career years for both players:
Take a look at those numbers closely, and now factor in this. Brett Gardner spent the majority of 2010 at the bottom of the order. As we all know Crawford spent the year in the top 3 spots in the Rays line up.
Crawford Has Gardner in Avg by 30 points. Yet Gardner takes OBP by 27 points.
Hitting at the bottom of the order Gardner has just 13 less runs scored.
The Big differential is in HR and RBI. Crawford has a significant edge, but he also has 9 years of MLB experience, Gardner has 3 years. I don't think Gardner will ever put up the power or RBI of Crawford, but I do think he will learn how to take advantage of the short porch at Yankee Stadium a bit more.
Crawford and Gardner Both had 47 steals, but does that tell the story? Gardner had the same amount of steals in 133 less at-bats.
Crawford had 14 defensive runs saved in 2010 while Gardner had 13.
With those differences who do you want in your line up? Crawford. Now remember Crawford Makes roughly $19.5 million more? Gardner. Gritty Gutty Brett Gardner. GO GO Brett Gardner.
Now despite the money I am going to explain to you why this will end being a silly signing for the Sox. I think everyone would agree Crawford's main weapon is his speed. Well he will be 29 in 2011 and is signed through the 2017 season he will be 36 at the end of the contract. He may have already peaked in terms of speed...how is he going to adjust to his main asset gradually declining? He will be playing left field at Fenway park, the Green Monster is going to limit his impact as a fielder and ability to cover ground. So now you have signed a player for his speed and defense to a long term deal and his assets are going to be limited by your home park and his age. Sure he may produce at the same rate for a season or two, but he is not going to increase his production, and his skills will only get worse. In his adjustment to Fenway as a hitter I would expect his power to decrease because he wont get home runs the other way, and besides right down the right field line Fenway is big. His steals may increase because the Monster will turn some doubles into singles and he will have to steal his way over.
Carl Crawford is a good player. I'd take him on the Yankees. But not anywhere near that price. This is going to comeback and hurt the Red Sox in terms of flexibility and expected production.
I'll leave you with this final stat...Crawford's career regular season average .296. Crawford's career post season average? .253