Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Everybody Loves Carl

Can't get enough Buster? Well, Buster Olney (over at ESPN.com) mentioned the Dodgers as one team that could really use the services of Carl Crawford in outfield. Get in line, however; there are many suitors (insider only):

Carl Crawford would help any team, because of his defense, speed and power, because of the way he goes about his work daily. But not all needs are equal; some teams need Crawford more than others.

The Yankees' priority is to sign Cliff Lee, and if they're successful in that pursuit, they probably would feel comfortable going into next year with an outfield of Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher. If they don't get Lee, the focus of their pursuit might change to Crawford or some other player. But for other teams, Crawford is a primary target, someone who could fill many needs. Ranking the Crawford pursuers, in order of need:

1. The Angels: The Rangers played in the World Series and there's every reason to think they will continue to get better, as Derek Holland evolves and as the other pitchers in the organization develop. Meanwhile, the Angels have regressed, as once-touted prospects like Brandon Wood have floundered. The Angels finished 19th in runs scored -- partly because of the season-ending injury to Kendry Morales, but also because Mike Scioscia's lineup simply lacks depth. Crawford would be a perfect fit as a No. 3 hitter, because his speed and baseline aggressiveness would match the way Scioscia manages. He could hit third in the Angels' lineup, right in front of Morales and Torii Hunter, and create situations in which those two would see more fastballs.

2. The Red Sox: Boston GM Theo Epstein may lose Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre through free agency, and no matter what choices he makes, he will be looking to make the team younger and better defensively, and the addition of Crawford would do that. And if the Red Sox win the bidding for Crawford, the top five hitters in their lineup would look something like this (and it would be daunting for any pitcher):

CF Jacoby Ellsbury
2B Dustin Pedroia
LF Carl Crawford
1B Kevin Youkilis
DH David Ortiz

3. The Tigers: Once the injuries hit Detroit in the middle of the 2010 season, the lineup around Miguel Cabrera was weakened, and there was no reason for opposing teams to pitch to the slugger and every reason to pitch around him. In August, Cabrera was issued 28 walks. The Tigers appear to have the makings of an excellent rotation for 2011, but they have to bolster the front part of their lineup to give Cabrera more opportunities to swing the bat in meaningful situations, and adding Crawford -- whether he would hit second or third -- would be a big step in that direction.

4. The Dodgers: Of course he'd be great for them, batting in front of Andre Ethier, but it would seem unlikely they would be in position to pursue the high-priced Crawford given that the McCourts' divorce has not been settled.



Fred's Brim said...

Terry Crews is awesome
Tim Crews was decent too

rbnlaw said...

. . .because the McCourt divorce situation is not settled.

*wah, wah, wahhhhhhhh*

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

Who doesn't love Carl Weathers?

Jason said...

Clearly Buster Bluth does not love Carl Weathers.