Carl Crawford said his chances of staying with the Rays "could go either way" and he's "hoping for the best like always.''
"Right now I really don't know,'' he said after his first workout of the spring. "I wish something good would come out of it. At this point we really haven't done too much of that (negotiating) right now and I don't know when we will.''
(Just to clarify, he said "hoping for the best" does mean staying with the Rays. "It does to me, I don't know about other people,'' he joked.)
Crawford did say he would prefer to not negotiate during the season, which puts something on a six-week clock on a potential extension with the Rays. If he gets to the end of the season, he is obviously more likely to explore free agency.
And while he wouldn't get into what he might be looking for or whether he would offer the Rays any kind of "hometown" discount, he made it clear he is looking for market value - which you would assume is in excess of the $10-million he is making this year. "That's what you go there for, to free agency,'' he said. "You go there to be paid like the guys playing against you. Pretty much, it speaks for itself.''
As I mentioned this morning, I don't think there is much of a possibility that Crawford stays beyond this year unless he is willing to take a hometown discount. This piece simply confirms that and makes me wonder what exactly is market value for a guy like Crawford? Would it be the 7 year/$120 million dollar deal the Cardinals gave to Matt Holliday?
Give us your thoughts in the comments section.