The Red Sox's platoon problem
This team is going to destroy right-handers, but lefties are another issue
Just days after picking up the best player available on the trade market in Adrian Gonzalez, the Boston Red Sox followed up and inked Carl Crawford, the best position player on the free-agent market, to an eye-popping seven-year, $142 million contract.
A lot of the buzz around the contract has focused on how this is by far the richest contract for a hitter who hasn't passed the 20-homer mark in any season. Although it's difficult to be one of the best corner outfielders in the league without power, Crawford makes up for it by having one of the most well-rounded skill sets in baseball. Mix in a .300 batting average, high-percentage base stealing, Gold Glove defense (Crawford, by all rights, should have a closet full of them by now) and enough triples to make him the active career leader, and you have an extremely valuable offensive player who can get away with hitting only 15 homers a year.
Fenway Park should be a nice home for Crawford during the next seven years; it's very good for batting average. Although there's risk of a leg injury hurting his game (see Jose Offerman), Crawford just celebrated his 29th birthday, so the Red Sox won't have to worry about him performing in his late 30s like the Nats with Jayson Werth or the Yankees with Alex Rodriguez.
For the full projections, you need to be an ESPN Insider.
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
MORE MLB HEADLINES
- Cubs not sure when ailing Castro will return
- Garza goal: Kick Cubs' 'teeth in every time'
- Twins lock up closer Perkins on 4-year deal
- Boras: Morales, Drew willing to wait for deals
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Offseason Buyer's Guide
Buyer's GuideNov. 7: Keith Law's top 50 free agent rankings
Nov. 8: Buyers Guide: Starting Pitchers
• Projecting the Starters
Nov. 9: Buyers Guide: Relief Pitchers
• Projecting the Relievers
Nov. 10: Buyers Guide: Catchers
• Projecting the Catchers
Nov. 11: Buyers Guide: First basemen/DH
• Projecting the first basemen
Nov. 12: Buyers Guide: Middle infielders
• Projecting middle infielders
Nov. 15: Buyers Guide: Third basemen
• Projecting the third basemen
Nov. 16: Buyers Guide: Outfielders
• Projecting the outfielders
FeaturesNov. 5: BP: Five biggest holes
Nov. 5: Olney: Quieting the rumor mill
Nov. 5: BIS: The next defensive makeover
Nov. 6: BP: Five top moves
Nov. 10: Olney: Top teams chasing Carl Crawford
Nov. 11: Keating: Teams that shouldn't make a move
Nov. 13: BIS: Finding hidden value free agents
Nov. 15: BP: Shopping in the $0.99 bin
History• Law: 2009 top 50 rankings
• Law: 2008 top 50 rankings
• Law: 2007 top 50 rankings
• Law: 2006 top 40 rankings
- Majestic Women's Replica Boston Red Sox Road Grey Jersey