Buster Olney just tweeted that the “speculation among rival executives” is
that the Angels and Red Sox are going to go “wallet-to-wallet” for Carl
Crawford this winter. Interesting if true. We’ve heard that the Angels want him and are ready to spend to do it. The Red Sox as a player for Carwford seems less intuitive.
Why? Because one of the biggest thing Crawford brings to the table is his range in left field, and for half of the Red Sox’ schedule — the home half — range in left field is not exactly the most important thing in the world thanks to the Monstah.
Not that going after him wouldn’t still be a good idea. For one thing, those other 81 games count. For another thing, before the Epstein Administration, the Red Sox spent years thinking that they have to get guys who “fit” Fenway Park, and that was never all that successful. The name of the game is to get the best players you can, and Crawford is clearly one of the best players available this winter, if not they best.
Still, I wonder if there isn’t something about Crawford in Fenway that makes him slightly less valuable to Boston, such that it might affect how hard they bid against the Angels for him.
Free agent right-hander Ervin Santana picked up a minor league deal with the White Sox, according to various reports Friday. Per Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com, Santana will make $4.33 million if he manages to crack the major-league roster this spring. Any official confirmation from the team is still dependent on the results of a physical.
The veteran righty hasn’t seen any action in MLB for some time. He was laid low by prolonged discomfort in his right middle finger last spring, and underwent a capsular release/debridement procedure that kept him off the mound for all but 24 2/3 innings of his 2018 campaign with the Twins. When healthy, however, he’s been as durable and productive as they come. Santana earned his second career All-Star distinction in 2017 and pitched to a 16-8 record in 33 starts with three shutouts, a 3.28 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 7.1 SO/9, and 2.9 fWAR through 211 1/3 innings.
Barring further complications with his pitching hand, the 36-year-old should be a stabilizing force for the White Sox’ rotation in 2019 — assuming he can beat out southpaw Manny Bañuelos and right-handers Jordan Stephens and Dylan Covey for a back-end role, that is. According to FanGraphs, the club’s starters ranked worst in the league in 2018 with a collective 5.07 ERA, 5.18 FIP, and 3.1 fWAR.