Peter Gammons was on WEEI today and said that he thinks the Red Sox are going to be all over Carl Crawford this winter:
“There is no doubt in my mind that they are going to go really hard after Carl Crawford. That will be a matchup with the Angels, and you know there are some puffs of smoke coming out of New York that suggest the Yankees might go after him, even though their primary need is pitching.”
I’d be shocked if the Yankees were seriously interested in Crawford. Their outfield is in pretty good shape — Gardner, Granderson and Swisher are all solid — and represents the one part of the team that is at least relatively inexpensive (emphasis on the “relatively”). My guess is that if the Yankees are connected with Crawford it will be one of those famous “pretend we’re interested to make him more expensive for the Red Sox” deals. Which are great fun, by the way.
The Astros have made a contract offer of one year with an option to free agent pitcher Charlie Morton, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports. The amount of the contract offer is not known, but would likely be less than the $17.9 million qualifying offer the Astros failed to make to him.
Morton, 35, had the best season of his career in 2018, going 15-3 with a 3.13 ERA and a 201/64 K/BB ratio in 167 innings. It is likely the peak in what has been a late-career reinvention that started at the end of his tenure in Pittsburgh, persisted through an injury-shortened stint with the Phillies, and continued over the last two years with the Astros. Morton’s delivery, which famously mimics that of the late Roy Halladay, has seen his strikeout rate rise from middling to elite rates while his fastball velocity climbed from the low-90’s to the mid-90’s.
Despite Morton’s reinvention, he is likely going to have to settle for short-term deals due to his age and durability issues. 2018 was the first time in his career he crossed the 30-start threshold.