At about 7:45 p.m. EST Wednesday night, Red Sox' GM Theo Epstein told reporters that Boston had not made much progress at Day 3 of the MLB Winter Meetings: "Nothing really new. Moved the ball forward on a couple of negotiations and moved it backward on a few." Roughly four hours later, they had agreed to a monster seven-year, $142 million deal with Carl Crawford. I guess that what he meant by "Moved the ball forward" on a negotiation.
That gives the Red Sox their second huge acquisition of the offseason, along with Adrian Gonzalez, and a lineup that could like something like this:
With Jason Varitek, Jed Lowrie and Mike Cameron on the bench.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman sums up the addition of Crawford in six words: "Good move. Good player. Great player." Our Red Sox blog, Over The Monster, expands (after focusing on the now, and not when the Red Sox are paying $40 million to a pair of 36-year olds):
So let's take all the contributions of the left fielders, and turn them into Carl Crawford. 11 runs below average offensively? 19 below average defensively?
Crawford was worth 32 runs offensively last year (9th best amongst outfielders, for those skeptics of Crawford's offense), and 18 defensively. For those who don't care to do the math, the difference is 80 runs, or about 8 wins.
Carl Crawford would have changed last year's team from an 89-73 team missing the playoffs to a 97-65 division winner.
An exact science? No. Maybe Crawford's defensive value will take a hit thanks to playing in left field (if he does). Maybe somehow Fenway doesn't end up helping his numbers. Maybe Adrian Beltre somehow manages to break his ribs.
But it still sounds pretty nice.