Friday, January 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Dodgers designate ex-Ray Crawford for assignment

LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers cut ties with underperforming and oft-injured LF Carl Crawford on Sunday, designating the former Rays All-Star for assignment.

Crawford was hitting .185 with two doubles, a triple and six RBIs in 30 games. He has $35 million left on his contract over the next two years.

The Dodgers have 10 days to trade, waive or release Crawford. Given the 14-year veteran's declining skills and the chunk left on a seven-year, $142 million contract that runs through 2017, that period is expected to end with Crawford's release.

Since being acquired in a nine-player trade with the Red Sox in August 2012, Crawford, 34, had batted .278 with a .320 on-base percentage and a .400 slugging percentage in 320 games. It was the biggest trade in Dodgers history.

Crawford's best years were in Tampa Bay, where he was a four-time All-Star and earned Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards in 2010. He was MVP of the 2009 All-Star Game.

But he hadn't done much since helping the Dodgers in their run to the 2013 NL Championship Series, when he hit .320 with four homers and six RBIs in 10 postseason games.

He had already been on the disabled list for lower back tightness in April.

"He's frustrated because his body is not letting him produce the way he used to, but Father Time catches up with everyone," manager Dave Roberts said.

Crawford was injured in each of his past five seasons, including 2012 with Boston when he had season-ending Tommy John surgery on his left elbow.

"He's worked really hard and played really hard, and ultimately that takes a toll on your body," said Andrew Friedman, Dodgers president of baseball operations. "We just felt we had gotten to a point where this was what made the most sense."

Friedman's history with Crawford dates back to 2006, when Friedman became GM of the Rays and Crawford was in his fourth season with them.

The Rays are unlikely to have any interest in a reunion with Crawford.

BOTTLE THROWN AT HOWARD: Philadelphia police are investigating an incident in which a beer bottle was reportedly thrown near Phillies 1B Ryan Howard during Saturday's game. A police spokesman said the bottle landed near Howard, who was heading back to the dugout at Citizens Bank Park. Howard alerted a security guard, who picked up the bottle. "I've done too much in this town to have that kind of stuff," Howard said. "If you want to yell out … that's whatever. But when you start throwing stuff, that's when stuff gets personal."

FIELDER BENCHED: Rangers DH Prince Fielder wasn't happy with being out of the lineup for a second straight day but said he respected manager Jeff Banister's decision to bench him. Fielder is hitting .187 and has just one homer in his past 39 games.

ANGELS: 1B Albert Pujols suffered a minor ankle injury on the final play of the game against the Pirates and will be further evaluated.

GIANTS: RF Hunter Pence is set to have surgery Thursday for a torn right hamstring and is likely to be sidelined eight weeks.

METS: CF Juan Lagares sprained his left thumb when he made a diving catch Saturday and is set to be further evaluated today.

RED SOX: C/OF Blake Swihart has a severe left ankle sprain and will be immobilized for the next two weeks.

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