You may have tricked yourself into thinking that after acquiring and signing Adrian Gonzalez that the Red Sox had made their major move of the Winter. You would have been wrong. You're wrong because the Boston Red Sox signed Carl Crawford last night to a seven-year, $142 million deal. I know it messed up the Hot Stove Update I was writing last night.
Crawford makes the Red Sox lineup as tough as any lineup in the game. He is such a versatile player he can hit anywhere from first to fifth in the lineup and be a major asset. The most likely scenario has him batting first or second, and since he has been a reluctant leadoff hitter in the past I'm guessing he will bat second behind either Dustin Pedroia or Jacoby Ellsbury. Either way, every batter in the Boston lineup should get a boost to their personal stats.
Carl Crawford is a supreme athlete and one of the best defensive outfielders in the game. He does not walk a ton (career 5.4 percent walk rate) but has improved over the last three seasons (6.9 percent three-year average). Crawford is a groundball hitter averging just a 30.8 percent flyball rate. However, he can hit mistakes a long way. He has the power to hit 20 homers but is usually in mid-teens in homeruns. While Crawford swings at a few more pitches out of the strike zone than average, he also makes better than average contact. He is easily one of the best basestealers in the game and is a cinch to steal 40-plus bases if the Red Sox allow it. I think they will.
Carl Crawford is an easy first round pick in most fantasy leagues and should only benefit by moving into Fenway Park. The contract may be a bit extreme, but as I stated in the Hot Stove Update I now have to re-write, just because a contract is for a lot of money and takes a player into his 30's does not make it a bad or even an undesirable contract.