Los Angeles Dodgers Designate Carl Crawford for Assignment; Team Has 10 Days to Decide His Fate
The Los Angeles Dodgers are eating up another huge contract. After trading Hector Olivera to the Braves last year and eating the $28 million signing bonus they gave him, they designated Alex Guerrero for assignment last week — who is still owed almost $10 million.
Now it is Carl Crawford, who was designated for assignment on Sunday, meaning they have 10 days to put him on waivers, release him, send him to the minors (with his approval) or trade him. With approximately $35 million still left on the seven-year $142 million contract he signed as a free agent after the 2010 season with the Boston Red Sox, the most likely option is waivers and then out right release.
The Dodgers have plenty of money, but have been trying to be more prudent with their resources in the past few seasons. Crawford was acquired from the Boston Red Sox in 2012 as part of nine player trade, which saw All-Stars Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford come to Los Angeles, along with over $250 million in contract commitments. Beckett has since retired and Gonzalez has been a productive player, but Crawford has become a huge disappointment.
A Speedy Career
Crawford, a four-time All-Star with Tampa Bay, was a premier leadoff hitter that led the league in stolen bases 4 times, triples 4 times and won a gold glove. He stole over 400 bases with the Rays, but has just 71 over the past 6 seasons. He was always going to be a bit of a question mark for the Dodgers since he was coming off the worst season of his career in 2011, had undergone Tommy John surgery in 2012 and was about to turn 32, which is a bit older for a guy whose game relied on speed.
Crawford was pretty productive in 2013 and 2014 when healthy, but missed over a hundred games with hamstring, oblique and ankle injuries. 2015 was even worse as he played just 69 games and hit .265. Hoping to rebound in 2016 and the Dodgers having injuries to Andre Ether and Scott Van Slyke, Crawford was a complete bust. In 35 games, he hit .185 with 3 extra base hits and no stolen bases. Facing in a roster crunch, the team had little choice other than designating him for assignment.
Crawford is still owed nearly $35 million over the next two seasons and at almost 35 years of age, the best he can likely hope for is a team battling injury problems to their outfield taking a flyer on a once great player. Crawford could always take an opportunity to get his game right in the minors by an outfield-desperate team and hope to get his game back on track.
San Francisco just lost Hunter Pence for 2 months and have Angel Pagan on the DL. Their outfield depth is lacking, but that still seems like a long shot for Crawford. The Kansas City Royals will still be without left fielder Alex Gordon for a few more weeks and could take a look at Crawford.
It is likely that some team will eventually give him a shot, but Crawford’s options will be limited.
(Los Angeles Dodgers Designate Carl Crawford)