Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Angels star Torii Hunter says he's not trying to get Tampa Bay Rays' Carl Crawford to come as a free agent

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Angels All-Star Torii Hunter has heard the conspiracy theories — which started with conveniently arranged adjacent lockers at the All-Star Game — that he's trying to recruit free-agent-to-be Carl Crawford to join him in Southern California.

But Hunter insists he's merely offering advice to a long-time friend.

"Everybody and their mama's going to want Carl Crawford," Hunter said. "So you never know what can happen."

Hunter said he's as curious as anyone where Crawford ends up.

"People forget he's my friend, he's one of my best buddies in the game," Hunter said. "People are making it out like I'm trying to recruit him and everything. I'm just his friend, like always. But since he's a free agent they think I'm trying to recruit him. I'm not.

"I was a free agent once, so if he asks me about free agency I'm going to help him out, whether he joins the Angels or not. He's my friend first."

Crawford has said he'd like to remain with the Rays, but that seems unlikely given the price he is likely to command on the open market. Hunter — who left the Twins for the Angels in a similar situation — said the prospect of playing on turf could be more of a deterrent than the financial aspects.

"I'm pretty sure he would love to stay with the Rays," Hunter said. "But I'm pretty sure he has to think about that turf and that dome, and you have to think about your future first. Baseball is No. 1, and if you can't play it because you're sore every day, you learn that."

As for the Rays being able to afford Crawford, who could be in line for a $100 million deal over six or seven years?

"If they really want him, I'm pretty sure they could do it, they could figure it out," Hunter said. "But they're going to have to pay for that turf. There's no discount on turf."

BACK IN ACTION: Manager Joe Maddon knows what he'll be looking for today when RHP Jeff Niemann rejoins the rotation after a stint on the DL for a shoulder strain.

"The big thing with Jeff for me is that he has such good command," Maddon said. "So if he's throwing the ball where he wants to — regardless of how many pitches he throws, whatever, I'm not concerned about that — if he throws the ball where he wants to then I'll know he's feeling pretty good again."

Niemann was having a tremendous season (10-3, with a 3.12 ERA that ranks eighth in the AL) until the 20-day interruption and is excited to resume.

"Just a little speed bump," he said. "Going to try to get out there and just try to get back into that rhythm we had early in the season."

To make room for Niemann on the roster, RHP Dale Thayer, who had pitched only once in two short stints with the team, was optioned back to Triple-A Durham.

CALLUPS COMING: Plans for September callups aren't finalized, but Maddon acknowledged there are likely to be two waves (Sept. 1 and after Triple-A Durham is done playing) and that OF/DH Rocco Baldelli and C Dioner Navarro are among the obvious candidates for serious consideration.

DO THE WAIVE: After seeing their interest in Tigers OF Johnny Damon thwarted when the Red Sox made a waiver claim (though Damon is staying in Detroit), the Rays could be in the same situation with Dodgers OF Manny Ramirez.

The White Sox, who have waiver priority over the Rays due to a worse record, "will claim (Ramirez) with the intention of acquiring him," according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal. The Rays' chances to acquire Ramirez would be better if he went through waivers unclaimed so they could negotiate with the Dodgers, trading prospects for salary relief.

MINOR MATTERS: Richard de los Santos earned his 14th win as Triple-A Durham won its ninth straight game and broke the Bulls' Triple-A franchise mark he had shared with Mitch Talbot and Dave Eiland. … With 12 games remaining, the Class A Charlotte staff is 55 strikeouts shy of the Florida State League record of 1,132.

MISCELLANY: RHP Grant Balfour (intercostal strain) throws another bullpen session today in St. Petersburg, and if all goes well he is likely to make two rehab appearances for Class A Charlotte before being activated Sept. 1. … The Rays logged their first consecutive series wins in Anaheim in their 13-season history. ... RHP Wade Davis leads all AL rookies with 10 wins. ... 3B Evan Longoria is hitting .409 with four homers, nine doubles and 13 RBIs in 11 games at Angel Stadium.

Angels star Torii Hunter says he's not trying to get Tampa Bay Rays' Carl Crawford to come as a free agent 08/24/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 2:56am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Twins eventually cash in as Rays lose, fall back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays could only battle their way out of trouble for so long Saturday afternoon before succumbing in a 5-2 loss to the Twins.

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 27: Brian Dozier #2 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates hitting a two-run home run as Derek Norris #33 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on during the eighth inning of the game on May 27, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rays 5-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) 700010973
  2. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  3. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting


    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  4. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  5. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]