Update: While the official statement is that the Red Sox will decide Carl Crawford’s fate Monday, ESPN is reporting that the decision has already been made that Crawford will undergo Tommy John surgery on Tuesday, making tonight’s game his last of the season.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said the Red Sox will meet on the off day Monday and make a decision on Tommy John surgery for Carl Crawford.
Crawford and doctors are expected to be involved in the meeting.
Rumor has Crawford preferring to undergo surgery now, which should ensure that he’s ready to play next spring. The Red Sox, though, might want to put it off, figuring that he could still be ready for Opening Day even if he waits until after the season to undergo surgery.
With a .309 average, two homers and 15 RBI in 17 games this month, Crawford has been one of the team’s best players of late.
In spite of all of the team’s struggles, the Red Sox still have some shot at a playoff berth, thanks largely to the addition of the second wild card. Of course, they would have to catch fire, something they haven’t done at any point this season. They’re currently 6 1/2 games back of the Orioles for the second wild card spot with 41 games left to play.
ESPN’s Keith Law reported on Saturday evening that a bad contract swap involving the Braves’ Hector Olivera and the Padres’ Matt Kemp was “getting close.” Olivera has been pulled off the field, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that only a last-second medical would kill the deal at this point, and that the Padres will be sending money to the Braves.
Kemp, 31, will have $64.5 million remaining on his contract through 2019 after this season, but the Dodgers will pay $3.5 million annually over those remaining three years, so the $64.5 million is really $54 million. The veteran has compiled a .262/.285/.489 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 69 RBI in 431 plate appearances for the Padres this season.
Olivera, 31, will have $28.5 million remaining on his contract through 2010 after this season. The outfielder was handed an 82-game suspension, beginning on May 26, for his involvement in a domestic dispute on April 13. He has a .501 OPS in 21 major league at-bats this season and a .278 OPS in 37 PA at Triple-A.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres will consider designating Olivera for assignment. The trade is all about the salary dump for the Padres, as they’d rather give outfield playing time to prospects Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot.
The Athletics and Royals swapped outfielders on Saturday. The Athletics sent Billy Burns to Kansas City and the Royals sent Brett Eibner to Oakland.
Burns, 26, doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, but he runs the bases well and plays solid defense. He was hitting .234/.270/.303 with 11 doubles, four triples, and 14 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.
Eibner, 27, was batting .231/.286/.423 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 85 plate appearances. He has spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he’s put up a .902 OPS in 219 PA. Eibner played the outfield corners in the majors, but racked up a ton of time playing center in the minors, so his versatility will be valuable to the A’s.
Burns will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2017 season while Eibner has hardly accrued any service time, which might explain part of the motivation behind the trade for the small-market Athletics.