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Report: Carl Crawford might be ready to call it quits

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According to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, a Dodgers official believes that free agent outfielder Carl Crawford is ready to retire from Major League Baseball. Crawford, 35, was released from the Dodgers last June during his fourth year with the organization.

Prior to his release, Crawford slashed a career-worst .185/.230/.235 with just three extra bases in 30 games during the Dodgers’ 2016 season. Over his 15-year career, he maintained a batting line of .290/.330/435 with 136 home runs, 480 stolen bases and 42.1 fWAR, peaking during his nine-year stint with the Rays.

Last September, a report from Cafardo suggested that Crawford was on the lookout for a new major league landing spot for 2017, with the Astros and Rays mentioned as potential targets. The outfielder still has $21.8 million left on his contract, which should be covered by the Dodgers this year. No retirement plans have been confirmed or denied by Crawford as of yet.

A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

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Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.