Red Sox out on Crawford?
From what Red Sox GM Theo Epstein told Boston media tonight, it sounds like the Red Sox are not going to pursue free agent OF Carl Crawford. That's a bit of a surprise, and could just be negotiating posture, but Epstein said their priority is re-stocking their bullpen and if they add an outfielder he would be "more complementary" at this stage.
Asked for his priorities after acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, Epstein said: "Bullpen, bullpen, maybe integrate a right-handed bat into the mix if we can find the right one. ... I feel like if we brought back the same (outfield) group, we'd be okay. I think here is a possibility of us doing something in the outfield, it might be a more complementary-type move. If we don’t find something that makes sense, we are comfortable with the group that we have."
If the Sox truly are out that would be good for the Rays, from the perspective of not seeing one of their best players go to one of their division rivals, and bad for Crawford, as it removes one of the big-money teams from his list of interested parties.
ESPN's Jayson Stark has an interesting take on the situation, suggesting Jayson Werth's 7-year, $126-million deal is actually bad for Crawford because it limits his options as he seeks to top the deal. The Angels remain interested and the apparent front-runners, with the Rangers, Tigers and Yankees all possibilities.