Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays' Carl Crawford won't be able to avoid questions about future

PORT CHARLOTTE — The decision to table talks with LF Carl Crawford until after the season should be effective in diminishing the potential distraction — for a while.

It still may get dicey at times, especially when the Rays play the Yankees, as they are considered his mostly likely free agent pursuers and the New York media have been known to be just a tad, shall we say, aggressive.

It will be interesting to see if Crawford, well aware how interest from the Yankees drives the free agent market, is any more willing to talk about his future in that situation and what he says when asked about the possibility of one day donning pinstripes. And when the Rays go to his hometown of Houston in May.

In theory, the Rays expect to be competing for a playoff spot all season, with Crawford a big part. As a result, they hold out hope of working out a deal after the season, though it would probably take a huge attendance increase, a trip back to the World Series and pretty good progress toward a new stadium for that to happen.

But just wait if the Rays aren't in the race come late July.

If Crawford leaves as a free agent, the Rays would get only a pair of draft picks for him. But by trading him before the July 31 deadline, they could get a major haul of talent. (Which will make for an extremely tough decision if they are on the fringe of the race, say 8-10 games out.)

There will be an endless stream of rumors — a Roy Halladay redux, as some suggest — as the pool of teams willing to trade for Crawford in an effort to get over the top this season is going to be larger than the ones that can legitimately afford him as a free agent.

And there will be nearly as many theories about what the Rays might do with such offers. Would they trade him to the rival Yankees or Red Sox? (The guess here is yes, if they had they best offer.) And at what premium? Would a National League team get a lower price? Would the Rays allow teams, or at least certain (non-AL East) teams, to explore signing Crawford to a long-term contract before making a deal?

And how much will Crawford get? At 29, with (at least) three All-Star appearances and four AL stolen base titles, he would be one of the most attractive free agents on the market. A Foxsports.com survey of 20 baseball people found the most common estimates were five-year deals for $60 million to $80 million, though others think he could make more in years and dollars, perhaps into triple digits.

Rays rumblings: Manager Joe Maddon isn't particularly pleased that 17 of the Rays' 32 exhibitions are against AL East teams because of the overexposure of pitchers. … 1B Russell Branyan said picking the Indians over the Rays was "a very tough decision" keyed to Cleveland's promise of being the everyday first baseman. … The Rays, according to the Las Avispas Cuban baseball blog, held a private workout for 22-year-old Cuban pitcher Juan Yasser Serrano. … Ex-Ray Troy Percival is serving as a guest spring instructor with the Angels. … Parking at Charlotte Sports Park is going up from $7 to $10.

Fast facts

Roster report

The second of our weekly guesses on the makeup of the 25-man opening day roster:

Pitchers (12): Grant Balfour, Lance Cormier, Randy Choate, Wade Davis, Matt Garza, J.P. Howell, Jeff Niemann, David Price, James Shields, Andy Sonnanstine, Rafael Soriano, Dan Wheeler

Catchers (2): Dioner Navarro, Kelly Shoppach

Infielders (6): Jason Bartlett, Dan Johnson, Evan Longoria, Carlos Peña, Sean Rodriguez, Ben Zobrist

Outfielders (5): Pat Burrell, Carl Crawford, Matt Joyce, Gabe Kapler, B.J. Upton

Disabled list (2): INF Willy Aybar, OF Fernando Perez

Tampa Bay Rays' Carl Crawford won't be able to avoid questions about future 02/27/10 [Last modified: Saturday, February 27, 2010 9:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated

    College

    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humilation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  2. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person

    College

    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry announced crowd of 24,325 at Raymond James Stadium.

    Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  3. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    The Rays still talk about having a shot to make the playoffs. But recognizing and correcting mistakes will help them next year, such as Mallex Smith trying to steal third in the first. "Those are the little things we've got to find how to eliminate real quick," manager Kevin Cash said.

  5. Bucs probe how to fix deep-ball chances missed vs. Bears

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was only minutes after the Bucs had demolished the Bears 29-7 Sunday when quarterback Jameis Winston tried one final time to connect with receiver DeSean Jackson.

    QB Jameis Winston says he’s focused on the deep-ball chances to DeSean Jackson he missed in the opener: “We left a lot out there.”