Thursday, July 10, 2014

Carl Crawford, The $69M Benchwarmer

Lots of nuggets in Bill Shaikin's article on Carl Crawford's imminent return to the Dodgers from the DL. First, the fact that Dodger manager Don Mattingly seems to have want to have dealt with the four-outfielder dilemma by...letting nature take its course, rather than handling the situation:

Crawford could be activated as soon as Thursday, which could leave Manager Don Mattingly with an unhappy bench player. Mattingly said he would speak with Crawford about his role, but said he is “not really planning any big changes” and noted the Dodgers had ascended to first place in the National League West with a set outfield. San Francisco moved percentage points ahead Wednesday night.

"Everybody is happier," Mattingly said. "They don't have to come to the ballpark looking for the lineup card."

The Dodgers were 29-24 (.547) when Crawford went on the disabled list. They are 22-18 (.550) since then, including 19-11 (.633) in the last 30 games.

Mattingly said Crawford bears no blame for the situation.

"Carl happened to be the one who got hurt," Mattingly said.

That's right! Why make decisions, when you can just wait for tendons to pop and decisions to be made for you!

But what about options? That trade deadline is coming up, so surely we can dish the unwanted fourth outfielder off, right?

Crawford, 32, a four-time All-Star, considers himself an everyday player, and the Dodgers would not be opposed to accommodating him with a trade. Scott Van Slyke has proven himself as a capable fourth outfielder, and top prospect Joc Pederson returned Wednesday from a separated shoulder at triple-A Albuquerque.

However, if Crawford were traded at the July 31 deadline, he would have $69 million left on his contract — $6.75 million for the last two months of this season, and $62.25 million through 2017.

$69M? Holy smokes, that's a lot of money. Okay, so maybe not. Well, let's just use Crawford as a pinch hitter then. Sure, he's expensive, but what could possibly go wrong?

In 35 career at-bats as a pinch-hitter, he is batting .114.



Fred's Brim said...

It Matty wasn't so terrible against lefties this year, I would say platoon them in left.

Fred's Brim said...

Too $horts beating Jefferson Starships, 2-0 in the 5th