Here’s Buster Olney this morning, suggesting that Carl Crawford might have something against the Red Sox and Yankees:
. . . if everything is equal — if the Red Sox or the Yankees make the same level of offer as the Angels — do not underestimate the impact of the fact that Crawford has built up a competitive callous against Boston and New York in his career. For years, he has been battling against the Red Sox and Yankees, and he will need to be convinced to join them, according to a friend.
I consider this to be in the same vein as “Cliff Lee’s wife hates New York.” Can you dismiss it entirely? No, but you can’t really think this means a whole hell of a lot either. Heck, it probably means less than the Kristen Lee thing on the theory that a guy’s friends — especially anonymous friends — are full of more bullcrap than a guy’s wife is (feel free to argue this point in the comments). In reality, the offers being presented, in terms of both money and role on the team, are about 77 times more important to any given free agent than the emotional/lifestyle stuff we hear so much about in the early stages of the offseason.
A “competitive callous?” Whatever. You can buy a lot of pumice stones and moisturizer with the kind of dough the Red Sox or Yankees may offer up.
The Associated Press is reporting that the spring training schedule will be shortened by two days starting in 2018. That change comes as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, which was agreed to last month.
Specifically, the voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and injured players has been changed to 43 days before the start of the regular season, down from 45. For the rest of the players, the reporting date is 38 days before the start of the regular season, down from 40.
The change goes hand-in-hand with allowing teams 187 days, rather than 183, to complete their 162-game regular season schedule.
While just about everyone seems to be in agreement that the spring training exhibition schedule is too long, team owners are likely very hesitant to shorten that part of the spring schedule because it would cost them money. So they’re just allowing players to arrive to camp a couple of days later.
Update (7:05 PM EST): The Rays and Dodgers have both announced the trade.
Update (6:57 PM EST): That was fast. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports the two sides have agreed to the trade. Forsythe for De Leon. An announcement is expected shortly.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Dodgers and Rays are “deep into discussions” on a trade involving second baseman Logan Forsythe. Passan adds that the two sides have discussed pitcher Jose De Leon — the Dodgers’ top pitching prospect — as part of the return for Forsythe, but it’s unclear if he’s in the deal currently being discussed.
Forsythe, 30, hit a productive .264/.333/.444 with 20 home runs and 52 RBI in 567 plate appearances in 2016. He was even better the year before, finishing with an .804 OPS. Forsythe can fill the Dodgers’ obvious need at second base, but he also has experience playing third base, first base, shortstop, and corner outfield.
Forsythe is entering the second year of his two-year, $10.25 million contract extension with the Rays. He’ll earn $5.75 million in 2017 and his controlling team has an $8.5 million club option with a $1 million buyout for the 2018 season.