The finals details are still being worked out, and he still has to pass his physical, but unless there's something drastic, Carl Crawford will be roaming the outfield for the Boston Red Sox in 2011, agreeing to a seven-year, $142 million deal late Wednesday night.
That's a lot of money -- at $20.28 million per year, it makes him the highest paid outfielder in the game -- so what exactly are the Red Sox getting?
Offensively, they're getting someone who most compares to Roberto Clemente, and a leadoff hitter for the next seven years. He's a solid hitter -- .296/.337/.444 for his career, with an OPS+ of 107 -- with some pop, averaging 14 home runs each season, and a career high of 19 homers (in 2010).
Crawford's WAR (Wins Above Replacement, which asks, "If this player got injured and their team had to replace them with a minor leaguer or someone from their bench, how much value would the team be losing?") was 6.9 in 2010, ninth best in all of baseball (Adrian Gonzalez came in at No. 22, with a 5.3 rating).
His on-base percentage is pretty average (career .337), but once he gets on base, he's an immediate threat. Crawford has led the A.L. in stolen bases four times in his nine year career and average 54 swipes a season. He'll run and run often, and with a success rate of 82%, he probably be standing on second with the middle of the Red Sox lineup coming up.
But it's Crawford's defense that makes him a special player. The 2010 Gold Glove winner was the fourth-best outfielder in all of baseball in 2010, with a UZR of 18.5. For comparison, J.D. Drew, the Red Sox' best statistical outfielder, came in at 3.8; Jacoby Ellsbury has a career UZR of 15.1, including a -9.7 in 2009 (remember, zero is average).