Oh boy. Carl Crawford’s return to the Red Sox will be delayed yet again, as Evan Drellich of MLB.com reports that the high-priced outfielder was pulled from his minor league rehab assignment due to a mild left groin strain.
Crawford must be shut down for five days before the 20-day window on his minor league rehab assignment can be reset. Of course, he could miss more than five days if additional tests reveal anything serious. He is currently on his way back to Boston for evaluation.
This is the second setback for Crawford since January surgery to remove cartilage from his left wrist. The 30-year-old was diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow in late April.
Crawford batted just .255/.289/.405 with a .694 OPS last season in the first year of a seven-year, $142 million contract. His attempt at redemption will have to wait a little bit longer.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that there is a “one million percent” chance Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman will opt out once the season ends.
Just going by the math this makes perfect sense, of course.
Chapman signed a five-year, $86 million deal with the Yankees before the 2017 season. Pursuant to the terms of the deal he’ll make $15 million a year in 2020 and 2021 (he was given an $11 million signing bonus that was finished being paid out last year). This past season the qualifying offer was $17.9 million. Craig Kimbrel of the Cubs just signed a deal that will pay him $16 million in 2020, 2021, and 2022 (he’s making a prorated $16 million this year). Other top closer salaries at the moment include Kenley Jansen ($19,333,334); and Wade Davis ($18 million).
It’s fair to say that Chapman fits into that group and, I think it’s safe to say, more teams would take him than those guys if they were all freely available. As such, Chapman opting out to get more money makes all kinds of sense. Heck, opting out, getting slapped with a qualifying offer, accepting it and then hitting the market unencumbered after the 2020 season would stand him in better financial stead than if he didn’t opt-out in the first place.
The question is whether the Yankees will let it get that far or whether they’ll approach him to renegotiate the final couple of years on the deal or to add some years onto the back of it. If they’re smart they will.