Carl Crawford regrets signing in “toxic” Boston

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Dylan Hernandez sat down with Carl Crawford, who is looking to make a fresh start in Los Angeles. As for his feelings about Boston:

“It was just everything,” he said. “Me not playing well. Me being in an unfamiliar area in an environment that was toxic. Just all those things combined. You start to say, ‘Is this ever going to end?'”

Asked if he regretted signing with the Red Sox, Crawford replied, “A lot of times I did. You hear a lot of talk about how I just wanted money. At some point, you just wondered if you made the right decision.”

It certainly wasn’t a good place for him and his injuries gave him no ability to silence critics. It’s interesting now how when people talk about the high expectations of the Dodgers they rarely mention Crawford. It’s always Kemp, Greinke, Gonzalez, Beckett and then Mattingly and ownership. Crawford may be flying under the radar. Which may be a very good thing for Carl Crawford.

Mike Napoli and Rays have “mutual interest” in a deal

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.

Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.

Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.