The Dodgers owe Carl Crawford approximately $21.5 million per year for the next four, count ‘em 4 years! YIKES!!!!!

That’s $86 million owed to a “soon-to-be 33 year-old, injury prone, fading player”.  You all know how I felt about Carl Crawford when the Dodgers traded for him and now I am certain that he is a “has been.”  The Dodgers will release him at some point during the contract.  The question is WHEN?  2014, 2015, 2016 or 2017?  It’s not a question of IF – it’s a question of WHEN.

Carl Crawford has very little value.   If the Dodgers sent $65 million and Crawford to some team, I doubt they could get anything but a low-level prospect… if that!

I think one thing you can count on is that you can’t count on Crawford.  You think he’s going to miraculously get healthy at 33?   Not a snowball’s chance!

So, why not trade him NOW – eat the money.  Move on!  Give Pederson a shot as the 4th OF and the lineup looks like this:

  1. Puig  RF
  2. Ethier  LF
  3. Ramirez  SS
  4. Gonzalez  1B
  5. Kemp  CF
  6. Guerrero  2B
  7. Uribe  3B
  8. Ellis C

Move on – Crawford is done… probably sooner than later.

Cupids-Sale-Valentines-Day_1

  1. Badger says:

    Crawford had an OPS+ of 108 and a WAR of 1.7 in 116 games. That is value. Of course he is not worth his contract, but those numbers make a pretty good 4th outfielder. You can’t move him without swallowing a choad. He is worth maybe a third of what he is paid. How do you move a player like that? He makes our lineup better when he is in it. I accept that because I don’t see a trade happening and cutting a positive WAR player doesn’t make business sense.

  2. Bobby says:

    Crawford is overpaid. No question.

    But am I wrong, or did he seem to get stronger as the year wound down? Maybe I”m wrong. I know he hit a bunch of home runs in the playoffs. Maybe his wrist injury, and hammy injury, were finally healing?

    We’ll know this year how healthy and productive he is, because he had zero surgeries (that we know of) this offseason. If he stretched and did DDP Yoga, like we all tell him to, maybe he’s ready to have a good season of 140+ games.

  3. HawkeyeDodger says:

    I think this is the year the Dodgers find out what they have in Crawford. There is no argument about him being overpaid, but the guy spent all of last season rehabbing his tail off to make it back by the start of the season. His body will have had a normal off-season and a normal workout regimen to get him ready for baseball. The way he finished the season was encouraging. I for one would like to see what he can do in the #2 spot in the batting order and hold out hopes that the Dodgers can sell a little higher than they would be now when it comes time to move CC.

  4. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I pretty much go along with Badger and Bobby above. If Crawford can be traded for real value then maybe a trade wouldn’t be a bad idea. But I wouldn’t be in any hurry to unload Crawford. And even if Pederson turns out to be good in the long run, I’m not sure he’s fully ready now. As bad as a test that ALBQ is for a bat, it still probably wouldn’t hurt for Pederson to get some time down there. Besides, given the new TV contract and the 140% rise in season ticket prices, I’m certain the Dodgers can afford to carry his contract and ultimately eat some of it down the road in a deal.

    Also, with Kemp just recovering, it’s probably best to keep as many experienced outfielders as possible.

  5. Rob says:

    It’s not only going to be his health but also his personal life. Remember he just had a baby with the evil “Basketball wives” diva. We will see how that plays out but I guarantee we will hear some drama from that.

  6. Quasimodo says:

    I can understand how one may be of mind to cut Crawford viewing through the lens that four outfielders are one too many and Crawford seems the logical cut. But the points all above mentioned should be convincing enough to admit its not a good time make a move like this. After last year I’d think it easy to get four outfielders on the same page but the subject keeps coming up that it won’t work. Maybe it won’t, but I’d sure like seeing it given the chance. If players are better in their contract year, then the same would be true that players also have to prove their worth where there’s alternate choice at hand. Dividing play can work inside of a game let alone a whole season. This shouldn’t as big of a problem as everybody makes it out to be.

  7. Badger says:

    Using 4.3 as an avg PA number for each outfield position there are over 2,000 plate appearances for 3 outfield positions. I think it’s fairly safe to say those can be divided among 4 good outfielders and each will get a fair shot at proving he should have a lions share. I think it’s also safe to say at least one of those guys will need some time off for healing. You just cannot have too many good players.

  8. Watford Dodger says:

    I don’t agree with Mark on this one.
    Badger made a great point at the end of the last thread – a lead off hitter precedes the best four hitters in the line up in every innings & that is why that role is so important. We don’t have a true lead off guy in the club. We hoped Gordon would develop into that guy but he hasn’t. Suddenly we think that Puig is a great fit at the top of the order & that Joc P is the answer as the 4th outfielder and possible lead off guy although he’s never had a MLB at bat? We should chose this moment, when we already know Kemp is struggling to make opening day & that Ethier & Hanley ended last season banged up & that Guerro is already banged up this season – to trade away the one guy who HAS experience of leading off because of a few hunches?
    Have I missed something? The top of the order is where we are light and certainly lack pace – CC is quicker than all bar Puig. I’ve said before that I think CC would be better in the 2 hole as he swings at too many pitches outside the Zone but hell – Puig’s even worse. Neither walk enough.
    Personally I wouldn’t trade him at all as he, IF he stays healthy, will have a big role to play on this team. Also, forget about the money – the Guggs are paying him & they knew what they were taking on. Be patient as Joc’s day will come soon enough. We didn’t even play Puig after his outstanding Spring Training last year. Joc’s not nearly as ready as he was.
    Also I hope we sign Arroyo. Give him what he wants. This team is for now.

  9. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Watford, actually looking at the stats, Puig is NOT worse than Crawford getting on base. In fact, he’s considerably better at it.

    Puig hit .319 with a .391 OBP. He drew 36 BB in 382 AB. Not too bad. And in his second year with some experience behind him, that could get better. Or pitchers will be so terrified of putting him on base in front of Crawford, Hanley, Gonzalez, Kemp, etc., that he’ll get more than his fair share of fat fastballs to hit.

    Crawford hit .283 with a .329 OBP, drawing 28 BB in 435 AB.

  10. Badger says:

    Look at the splits.

    Puig’s BAbip went from about .390 to .214 at the end of the year. Did he get tired or did ML pitching catch up to him.

    I hope he prepares himself, physically AND mentally, to play to November.

  11. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I’m not worried about what Puig did at the end of the year. From what I saw, Puig showed the ability to make adjustments, and simply ran out of time at the end of the year to make further adjustments. He also followed up the regular season with a good series against the Braves and a poor one against the Cards. Puig, like most players, is going to have his ups and downs. But from what I’ve seen, the ups are going to far outweigh the downs. And I suspect that he’s going to get more consistent over time.

    And finally, if Kemp and the rest of the lineup is healthy, Puig will have more support around him to go along with the experience he gained. Maybe there are still some bumps in the road, but I expect Puig overall to be a better player in 2014. Maybe that’s just my hopes talking. Only time will tell.

  12. Idaho al says:

    I do not think it will happen. Crawford can still be a good fourth outfielder. I heard on TV last week where Seattle Seahawks cut more than 100 players in the four years the Coach and General Manager were together. I could not believe what I was hearing. But the commentator was saying that when the coach and general manager agreed they made a mistake, they just cut the player and move on. Now if Colletti could ever get to that point, we would not see League or Crawford. You cannot have dead weight on your 25 man rooster.

  13. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Crawford has his faults, but if he’s anything, it’s NOT dead weight. As for League, I seriously doubt if the Dodgers will continue to carry him if he doesn’t produce, and there’s an arm to replace him. But that remains to be seen.

  14. Watford Dodger says:

    Point taken Brooklyn – you can’t argue with the facts.
    I think what I’m trying to say is that I don’t really fancy either of them leading off.
    However these are the players we have & they ( unless Guerro proves to be suitable) are probably the best two we have at the top of the order. It’s a shame Gordon hasn’t progressed as hoped as he would be a great weapon.

  15. Idaho al says:

    I agree Carl is not dead weight as a player. However, he is dead weight when you pay him that kind of money. He is not worth it. If he is willing to accept the 4th outfield position, I would keep him because there is not much else you can do. League is not worth the money either. I saw too much of him in Seattle. He looked good one time and the next he was terrible. You need to trust him and you cannot. Maybe they can fix his problem. If they do, great. I do not think Colletti will cut League. Look what he did with Uribe.

  16. Badger says:

    Puig may indeed be a better overall player but I doubt he reproduces his stat lines over 162 games. I don’t think he will hit over .300 and I doubt he increases his 5 WAR posting. I will take what fangraphs projects – .290 .360 .500 slash line and a WAR just short of 5. Those numbers leading off would be an outrageous improvement for this team.

    I sure hope Carl can play 140 games. If he can, he will be extremely important to this team. I don’t look at his contract anymore. The Dodgers knew exactly what they were doing when they got him. Everybody knew he was overpaid. They don’t care. What they care about is what he can contribute. The Dodgers won the West and came within 2 games of a World Series. Crawford helped accomplish that.

  17. Pete M. says:

    Mark throws in a topic like this every once in awhile to get the pens scrambling and the BP up!!!
    Hell, everybody in baseball is overpaid and I’m paying the price by being gouged by ticket prices… It is what it is (boy I dislike that one)…
    Crawford is a player and we saw it last year… He can get things started and is a fan favorite…
    2015 Dodger lineup,,, (I not mid year 2014)
    LF – Kemp
    CF – Joc
    RF – Puig…
    P.S. CC may not be here at the end of his contract, but long enough to add to a pennant year or two…

  18. Badger says:

    Posted this accidentally on old thread:

    Interesting piece at MSTDD on our #5. Nobody there talking about it so maybe we could here. After watching Donnie blow it in person down at Chase Field it reminded me that he did learn his staff management techniques from Torre, which is a scary thing. Mike mentions we don’t really need a 5th until mid April but personally I think we should have one recognized by Opening Day. If we don’t sign one I feel the job will likely change hands all year. Magill? Beckett? Magill/Beckett/Fife? MBF/Billingsley? As we clearly know, you cannot have too much pitching.

    Somebody somewhere did research on players being overpaid and the report said some of these marquis players actually earn their money. People pay to see guys like Kershaw and Puig. Don’t know many that would buy a ticket just to see Crawford. I also read somewhere that each WAR point was worth 5 million. Don’t know if that is still true.

    I do know this – if the Dodgers are winning as a team the park will fill up, cable scripts will be purchased and the team wii make money. Lots of it. Making every contract affordable.

  19. Gonzo says:

    Something that caught my attention was the purchase of the Sparks by the Guggenheim group. I think that Magic may have his eyes set on the buying the Lakers in the near future as well as bringing the NFL back to LA. Guggenheim bid on AEG that owns bits of LA pro teams. The Lakers are valued at 1.35 billion, so it all seems to be part of a big plan to me.

  20. Quasimodo says:

    To me that sounds correct. Not long ago I said that 98 was on the low side and that I’d bet $100 98 or better. Sure, injuries could make that fall apart. But I don’t think the Dodgers are as fragile as many suggest. I wonder if pecota made room for injuries. Thanks for sharing that, Badger. At least computers say I’m not a total idiot.

  21. Badger says:

    Justin Turner. Ok. Looking at his career stats I see a couple of things that stand out. At 29 he had 3+ years of service and is arb eligible until ’17. Late bloomer? He hit .280 last year, that’s good, but is a career .260 hitter, which means he had a couple of bad years before the .280. He’s a negative dWAR player that doesn’t hit a lot of extra bases. Last year it was Puntellismacher. Is this year Figordurner?

    I look forward to see who comes to Spring Training ready to take the utility role.

  22. Badger says:

    Holy Uree-bear Batless. I just read the projection for re-signed third baseman. Let’s see if I can get them up:

    2014 projections – Age 34 season

    Source PA 2B HR BA/OBP/SLG wOBA

    Bill James397 19 11 .240/.295/.385 .296

    Oliver 600 26 16 .245/.300/.384 .300

    PECOTA 586 26 17 .243/.293/.389 .294

    Steamer 583 28 15 .239/.301/.385 .301

    ZiPS. 346 15 10 242/.293/.390 .279

  23. Bob says:

    Imagine Turner starting the year at 2B and Gordon coming in as the defensive replacement in the 8th and 9th inning. Yea, Turner could actually be that bad of a fielder. Can’t wait for Guerrero to tear up AA pitching and arrive in shape and full of vim and vigor by Memorial Day.

  24. Pete M. says:

    Rob – They’re not listening to us!!! #5 s/b Beckett, Bills(later), Fife, the kids!? Spin the wheel Donnie…
    Bob – I second that motion…
    Figgons and Gordon…I like…

  25. Badger says:

    Is this good enough?

    “One projection system, ZiPS, pegs Kemp to hit .274 with 21 doubles, 20 home runs and 75 RBIs, to steal 15 bags and to make 475 plate appearances. The Dodgers would probably take those numbers. Of course, like their fans, they’re always hoping for more.”

  26. Bob says:

    Still way too many good free agents without jobs this close to the day that pitchers and catchers report. Hint – Happy wife happy life. Better sign that contract before Valentines’ Day!

  27. Bobby says:

    BillRussell; i don’t mean to criticize you for discussing the news. News is news and anything involving our division rivals deserves discussion. Sorry if it came out wrong.

    I mean I don’t think he’s a giant piece for them, or a major loss for us.

  28. Bob says:

    So Alex Rodriquez gave up on his law suit against the MLB. Newscasters are saying that he lost. Personally I have such a low opinion of him that I would not put it past him if this was a sham lawsuit that his divorce attorney told him to do so that he could reduce his child support to his 2 kids. Not saying this is true just saying that is how low my opinion is of him.

    • Badger says:

      He’s an enormously wealthy moron with an ego larger than his bank account. All he had to do was admit he did it, and did it again because, well, he could, take his punishment and come back. We all forgave those who confessed, even Canseco came out looking better than ARod. He handled it badly. Ego is needed to get there, but it can also bring you down. Hopefully we don’t hear from him again. I suspect we will though.

      No comments on the Kemp projections? Frankly I don’t believe they are enough. I want him to earn that contract. 5 WAR would do it for me.

      • Bobby says:

        Honestly, I can’t realistically predict how Kemp will do until I see him

        How’s that ankle. How’s the pushoff when he plants and swings? How is it when he jumps in right center for a fly ball and lands on that ankle?

  29. Frank says:

    Yes, the grass is greener way over there but, most of the time, it’s just a trick of perspective. The prospect always looks like Superman, on paper, at least. The Dodgers weren’t going to get Gonzalez without taking Crawford and Beckett. Simple as that. They needed some immediate impact and they certainly got that! That they got some pretty good performance out of Crawford last year was a significant plus. I don’t think some people get it at all that you always need to look at the entirety of an investment to gage it’s return. That trade was the foundation upon what got the Dodgers into the playoffs last year and just might get them to the World Series this year. Do you really believe that they could be where they are dependent on trying to find a Crawford replacement last year in addition to their pickups? Get real! You’ve already got Pederson slotted in. Have you forgotten that Gordon was going to be THE shortstop and leadoff hitter after that nice September he had. And you’ve got Kemp in your lineup and no one knows when he’ll be back and IF he still has a career after that ankle bone injury. It’s no wonder that so many Dodger “fan” bloggers are retiring this year with so little negative to write about the Dodgers that they have to manufacture something. Will you be retiring soon?

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