Heyman: Yanks “love” Carl Crawford
Ever since Brian Cashman stated that the Yankees think highly of next year’s crop of free agents, so much so that they passed on some of the great options available this winter, namely Matt Holliday and John Lackey, many Yankee fans have wondered if Carl Crawford will ultimately don the pinstripes come 2011. The 28-year old Ray, worth an average of nearly 4 wins per season since 2003, is in the last year of a four-year contract with Tampa Bay – he will earn $10 million in 2010 – and is most likely headed to the open market unless an extension is worked out sometime this spring. The combination of defensive – 17.6 UZR in left field last year, 14.4 UZR/150 career – and offensive value – .305/.364/.452 line, .367 wOBA, 126 wRC+, 15 home runs, 60 stolen bases a season ago – that Crawford brings to the table will make him the premier outfield talent next winter and, with left field being somewhat of a “concern” for the Yankees in a long-term sense, it is logical to assume that New York might be interested in his services.
Though the speculation has been somewhat cursory with regards to the Yankees’ interest in Crawford – much of it just seems presumptive – today, in his latest over at Sports Illustrated, Jon Heyman wrote that the Yankees actually “love” Crawford and that their reluctance “to go for a two-year deal for Johnny Damon might have had little to do with Damon and been a greater reflection of what they think” of the Houston native. Heyman added that the Rays probably won’t be able to afford Crawford beyond 2010 – no surprise there – which allows the Yankees to “jump to the head of the class for interested teams.” One wonders, though, if Brett Gardner can cement his position in center field this season, shifting Curtis Granderson to left field, perhaps, then, Crawford will fall off the team’s grocery list. But, if the Yankees “love” Crawford enough to keep a spot open for him a year in advance (sort of), that might be difficult to do.
Will the Yankees add Crawford next winter? Is that the right play? His bat might give some pause, as he owns a .295/.335/.437 career triple slash line, but his climbing walk percentage could be a positive sign. What do you think?
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