Monday, November 23, 2009

Hypothetically Speaking: The Carl Crawford Contract Extension

Can the Rays keep Carl Crawford long term? Maybe. A discussion could be looming:
TRADE WINDS: According to an industry source, the Rangers and White Sox have shown interest in CF B.J. Upton, and the Mets and Braves have inquired about All-Star LF Carl Crawford. The Rays have said they're interested in discussing a long-term deal with Crawford, who is eligible to be a free agent after the 2010 season.
Carl Crawford wants to be a Ray long term. The Rays want to sign Carl Crawford long term. So what's the problem here?


The Rays have one of the smallest payrolls in baseball and Crawford, 28, is one of the best left fielders in baseball and is sure to command a huge salary on the free agent market next winter.

But like I said before, the good news is that both sides seem interested in getting a deal done. Can a deal actually happen? That's another story.

Let's take a look at the goals for each side:

The Rays

1. Lock up Carl Crawford long term

2. Don't eat up too much payroll

3. Discount...please?

The Carl Crawford Camp

1. Big money contract

2. Attempt to maximize Crawford's value in Tampa

3. Increased salary in 2010

4. Stay in Tampa (if that's really what he wants)

So how about this deal for Crawford and the Rays?

(3 years/$45 million)

Here is the contractual breakdown:

2010: $13 million
2011: $14 million
2012: $18 million

Why it works for the Rays:

1. Buyout two free agent years

2. Keep Crawford in Tampa

3. Prevent him from hitting the open market

4. Affordable contract and possible trade chip in the future

Why it works for Crawford

1. Stays in Tampa

2. Makes more money in 2010

3. Crawford can be a free agent when he is 30 years old

4. Guaranteed money

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I dunno about this one. I imagine that this is what it will take for the Rays to sign Crawford, but can anyone actually see this type of deal happening? Are the Rays really ready to commit so much of their payroll to one guy? Assuming they have a $60 million dollar payroll, signing Crawford to this extension would take up at least 25% of the total payroll every year. Not good. But then again, the Rays are set to lose Carlos Pena, Pat Burrell and Dan Wheeler next winter so maybe the Rays will actually have some funds to play with.

The Rays would be able to hold onto one of their most valuable assets for a few seasons and hope to the baseball Gods that they get a new stadium, which means increased revenue in the future, which means a higher payroll for the Rays.

One can dream, right?

Do the Rays have any chance to sign Crawford to a long term deal this winter?

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Unknown said...

No way I see this one happening -- Carl Crawford is going to want a Vernon Wells/Alfonso Soriano contract. And he deserves it more than either of those guys.

A 3 year deal to stay in Tampa would be a huge discount no matter what the $$$$.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully Carl sees the bigger picture...and realizes this Rays team has more young talent than any team in baseball...and if we can keep the core group together, we could play David and Goliath with the Yanks and Bo Sox...and win a few rings.

Jorge Says No! said...

That's the point. There's no way that the Rays will be able to afford Crawford for a 5-7 year period, so there best bet is to offer him a shorter deal with a base salary that demonstrates their commitment to him and offers a base salary that is comparable to that which he would get on the open market.

Would he accept a deal like this? Doubtful, but its the Rays best bet.