Crawford would like to work out new deal this winter; Rays interested
UPDATE, 7:41: The Rays sounded like they were interested. “We are very pleased to hear C.C.’s comments,'' executive vice president Andrew Friedman said. "Consistent with our policy, we do not speak publicly about contract negotiations but obviously we have a tremendous amount of respect for Carl both on and off the field. He has been a big part of our past success and I expect he will be a big part of our future success as well.”
DEVELOPING: Three-time All-Star LF Carl Crawford would like to stay with the Rays long term.
While it seems all but certain the Rays will pick up his $10-million option for 2010, Crawford said he would be open to discussing a new long-term deal this winter before heading into what would be the final year of his contract.
"I hope we can get something done,'' Crawford said. “I think the organization is definitely headed in the right direction and I’d like to be part of that.’’
Crawford has spent his entire career with the Rays, and for years had been looking forward to free agency. But with the change in direction and the team's success last season, he said he now very much would like to stay.
"I'd be open to whatever they're open to, and they know that. It's no secret,'' Crawford said. "
I just really hope something happens.''
He also said he would like to avoid the uncertainty of being in the final year of his contract, and might feel he has to play cautiously if that is the case.
"I've never been in this position before so I don't know what to expect,'' he said. "I don't like worrying about it, and you can sit there and say you're not worried about it, but to not know what your future's going to be in the next five or six years or so is definitely ... it makes you scared at times. I just hope we can do something. It's uncomfortable worrying about it. I don't like playing cautious. ... I'm the kind of guy that doesn't like to play cautious. You'd be a liar if you say you didn't play cautious when you have to go through contracts and stuff like that. I want to just be able to play baseball, don't worry about nothing else.
" I hope we can get something done, but if not I'll just go into next season, do what I have to do and try to help the team win and go from there.''
Crawford did say he wants any negotiations take place before the start of next season, and either have a new deal by then or play the season and head into free agency.