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C.C.: "I just couldn't imagine" being elsewhere



There have been no official talks, and may not be any for years as he is under Rays' control through 2010, but Carl Crawford made it clear Wednesday he would prefer to never leave the team.
"Most definitely, I would like to stay here with the Rays. This is the only organization I know. I don't know nothing different. It would be nice. I'm just taking it year-to-year right now,'' Crawford said. "I've always said that - I'd hate to leave right when the getting is good. You've been around for all the bad stuff you want to be around for the good part, too. And it looks like the good part is coming ahead, and you definitely want to be a part of that. So I hate to be out right when the team starts to win more games.'''
The Rays on Tuesday picked up Crawford's $8.25-million option for 2009, and hold a $10-million option for 2010, after which he can become a free agent. The Rays have recently signed Carlos Pena, James Shields and Dan Wheeler to long-term deals, and Crawford has noticed.
"I'm still a long ways away in my mind,'' he said. "I've got this year, next year and the year after that, they have another option. I honestly wasn't really thinking about an extension or nothing like that because in my mind it is so far away that I never really thought about it. But I just couldn't imagine seeing myself being anywhere else though.''
Crawford said he hadn't discussed the situation with his agents: "I'm just kind of waiting around, seeing what happens. ... My time will come, and I'm just going to try to wait until I get to that time.'' 
But if the Rays came to him? "Of course I'd want to listen,'' he said. "Everybody's getting extended these days it seems like. So I'd definitely listen.''

Manager Joe Maddon made his first lineup change, starting newcomer Nathan Haynes in rightfield tonight ahead of Eric Hinske, who homered in the opener but is 3-for-21 against Orioles starter Daniel Cabrera. He has Haynes hitting eighth, moving Dioner Navarro up a spot, on what will be a cold night.

The lineup, as the Rays seek to be 2-0 for just the second time in franchise history:
Iwamura, 2b
Crawford, lf
Pena, 1b
Upton, cf
Floyd, dh
Aybar, 3b
Navarro, c
Haynes, rf
Bartlett, ss
Matt Garza makes his Rays debut on the mound.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:34am]


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