It’s a little quiet tonight, don’t you think? A little too quiet…
Yeah, there isn’t much happening with Carl Crawford right now, but multiple Red Sox sources have confirmed to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com that the club is still interested in signing the free-agent outfielder, even after the recent acquisition of Adrian Gonzalez.
However, one source wonders how many years it will take to sign him, especially after Jayson Werth turned the market on its head by signing a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Nationals on Sunday. Perhaps that explains the general lack of chatter in regards to Crawford this week?
Meanwhile, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein was more of the “never-say-never” opinion when asked directly by Edes.
“It’s the same answer I gave yesterday. Obviously we’re in a new situation now after we’ve made a major acquisition, but like I said, anything is possible, right?”
While the Red Sox can’t be ruled out on Crawford, Epstein confirmed that he is exploring alternatives. With that in mind, Edes reports that the club has expressed interest in Josh Willingham of the Nationals and free agent outfielder Matt Diaz, both of whom hit from the right side of the plate. Aaron wrote this morning that the team also has interest in Magglio Ordonez.
The Padres are set to recall top infield prospect Luis Urías from Triple-A El Paso, according to a report from Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. It’ll be the second such stint for the club’s no. 2 prospect, and one they hope to extend through the end of the season. A corresponding roster move will be announced later this weekend.
Urías, 22, struggled in his first promotion to the majors this April. Touted as “one of the Minors’ better pure hitters” with “innate bat-to-ball skills” and “plus on-base skills,” he found it difficult to adjust to big league pitching and slashed a lackluster .083/.241/.125 with just two hits and four walks over 11 games with the Padres.
Upon his return to Triple-A, however, the young middle infielder has delivered nothing short of spectacular results, batting .315/.398/.600 with 19 home runs, seven stolen bases (in nine chances), and a .998 OPS across 339 plate appearances. Given the additional measures he’s taken to improve his mechanics — something, Acee says, the Padres are far more interested in than his results at the plate — it seems he may be ready to handle the competition at the highest level on a long-term basis.
Urías is expected to be recalled in time for the Padres’ game against the Cubs on Saturday, where he’ll likely share the middle infield with fellow top prospect Fernando Tatís. The game is set for 2:20 PM EDT.