Carl Crawford vs. Desmond Jennings
Looking at projections for both sides of Tampa's big offseason decision
- Getty ImagesMost assume Carl Crawford will not remain a Ray, but Desmond Jennings will project as similar within four to five years.
The Tampa Bay Rays are down 1-0 in their American League Division Series to the Texas Rangers, so obviously that's the organization's primary concern right now. But whether its season ends with an LDS loss or a champagne bath after the World Series, its truly biggest issue is the future of Carl Crawford. Will the Rays bring him back? Can they bring him back?
Rays owner Stuart Sternberg announced going into the season that the payroll would be significantly lower for the 2011 season, hinting that it would drop even below $60 million.
There's a bit of good news. Pat Burrell is already gone (to a fellow playoff team, the San Francisco Giants) and made up $9 million of that Opening Day payroll. Rafael Soriano earned $7.25 million, and nobody really expected to him to be anything more than a one-year pickup in Tampa Bay. Carlos Pena isn't gone yet, but if the Rays bring him back, it'll certainly be at less than his $10 million 2010 salary; he had as good a season as a .196 hitter can have, but a .732 OPS isn't something you pay for at first base.
Once you factor in some raises to players with a few years of service time and the loss of at least $20 million in salary, you might be able to envision a scenario in which the Rays could afford to keep Crawford on a long-term deal.
It might not be that easy, though.
For the full argument plus the ZiPS breakdown on Crawford and Jennings, 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
- Yanks' Tanaka makes start, gives up homer
- Jobe, pioneer of Tommy John surgery, dies
- Phillies' Hamels to rest arm another week
- Manny, not ready to retire, hoping to get call
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
DIVISION SERIES WRAP-UP
NATIONAL LEAGUEPhillies 4, Reds 0
AMERICAN LEAGUERangers 5, Rays 1
Yankees 6, Twins 4
- Majestic Men's Replica Tampa Bay Rays Evan Longoria #3 Road Grey Jersey
- MLB Home
- AL East
- Baltimore Orioles
- Boston Red Sox
- New York Yankees
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Toronto Blue Jays
- AL Central
- Chicago White Sox
- Cleveland Indians
- Detroit Tigers
- Kansas City Royals
- Minnesota Twins
- AL West
- Houston Astros
- Los Angeles Angels
- Oakland Athletics
- Seattle Mariners
- Texas Rangers
- Fantasy: Sign up!
- Spring blog