35-Year-Old Outfielder – Free Agent
2017 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Carl Crawford in 2017. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Carl Crawford Contract Information:
Signed a seven-year, $142 million contract with the Red Sox in December 2010. Traded to the Dodgers in August 2012.
Crawford was released by the Dodgers on Monday, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.
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Carl Crawford: MLB Games Played By Position
Carl Crawford Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Carl Crawford Defensive Stats
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Carl Crawford: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Carl Crawford.
Injuries, competition, and a general lack of production once again took their collective toll on Crawford's 2015 output. Crawford had rebounded somewhat in 2014, batting .300 for the first time in four years while swiping 23 bases, but it just wasn't happening for him in 2015. Crawford turns 35 in August, and at that age, a return to 20-plus stolen bases seems unlikely, and given he's never had a discerning batting eye (5.3% BB% for his career), there isn't much he brings to the table from a fantasy perspective these days. He also has two years and $41.75 million remaining on his contract, making him difficult to move. With Andre Ethier set to miss at least the first two months of the season with a broken tibia, Crawford will occupy the strong side of a left field platoon in the early going, which gives him some short-term value in deeper leagues.
Injuries once again limited Crawford's playing time in 2014, but he was also a victim of the Dodgers' crowded outfield, and the combination of those factors limited him to 105 games last season. In terms of his production, Crawford hit at a level right in line with his career norms, putting a lot of balls in play (14.9% K%) and using his speed effectively. On the basepaths, he went 23-for-29, piling up his highest stolen base total since 2010. Even if Crawford's playing time situation were to improve in 2015, it's difficult to envision a scenario in which he will significantly exceed a 10-homer, 30-steal level in his age-33 campaign. With three years and $62.3 million left on his contract, the Dodgers will likely have to eat some of Crawford's remaining salary in order to part ways with him in the relatively near future.
A hamstring injury was largely to blame for Crawford missing 46 games in 2013, and the Dodgers' outfielder batted a disappointing .283/.329/.407 with just six home runs and 15 steals in 435 at-bats. Crawford also dealt with back stiffness late in the year, but he's expected to be 100 percent heading into spring training. While he's on the wrong side of 30, a healthy Crawford should be able to hit in the .280-.290 range with 25-to-30 stolen bases and double-digit home runs, but his poor track record of health makes it difficult to bank on those levels. The Dodgers' outfield is crowded, but he is expected to play regularly regardless of whether the front office makes a trade to remedy the situation.
Crawford was limited to just 117 big league at-bats last year due to elbow issues that ultimately led to his undergoing Tommy John surgery in August. Now on the wrong side of 30, Crawford is probably never going to return to the days of 50-60 stolen bases and 15-20 home runs, but perhaps he'll fare better with a change of scenery. He's set to be the Dodgers' starting left fielder and leadoff man, but whether that is Opening Day or sometime shortly thereafter will be determined during spring training when he's able to get back on the field for game action.
Crawford's miserable 2011 season makes him look like one of the bigger free-agent busts in recent memory. None of his extra-base power or game-changing speed was on display much for Boston in 2011. Could hitting out of his customary upper-third of the batting order have played that much of a role in his subdued production? The poor plate production appeared to impact his fielding, too, as the 2010 Gold Glove winner dropped 20 points in UZR. After undergoing wrist surgery in January, Crawford's availability for Opening Day is in question and he won't resume hitting until some point during spring training.
Crawford turned in another outstanding season, setting career highs in home runs (19), RBI (90), runs (110) and OPS (.851). These numbers were even more impressive considering that Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria had down years at the plate. With the Rays trimming payroll for 2011, there was little hope he would re-sign with them. He ended up signing with division rival Boston, landing a seven-year, $142 million contract. He'll fit nicely in the No. 2 spot behind Jacoby Ellsbury and in front of fellow newcomer Adrian Gonzalez. While it may take some time to adjust to "The Green Monster," Crawford remains an outstanding defender as his 18.5 UZR (good for fourth among outfielders) indicates. Expecting him to duplicate similar numbers from last season is very realistic, and he has the potential to slightly improve them.
After dealing with hamstring and wrist issues in 2008, Crawford finally stayed healthy and put together a career year. He posted career highs in stolen bases (60-third in the AL) and OBP (.364). However, he tired somewhat as the season wore on stealing only 16 bags after the All-Star break, a huge drop from the 44 he stole in the first half. Tampa's pitchers all benefit from his defense and his spectacular catch that preserved the All-Star win for the AL garnered him the MVP honors. In fact, his 17.6 UZR last year led all left fielders in the league. Although Tampa was working on locking him up with a long-term deal as he heads into the final year of his contract, there is a slight chance he gets traded. Don't be surprised if he gets rested a bit more this year but draft him with confidence if you're looking for speed.
Crawford missed the last seven weeks of the regular season with a torn finger tendon that required surgery, and was also limited throughout the season with sore hamstrings. With his legs rested thanks to his rehab from finger surgery, Crawford was effective in the postseason (.290, .801 OPS, two homers, 7-for-7 in steals in 16 games). He'll return as the regular left fielder in 2009, and he'll be fully healthy come spring. The Rays likely will target Crawford for a 145-game workload or so, resting him once or twice per homestand to ease the wear and tear the Tropicana Field turf causes his legs.
Crawford ended the year tied for the AL lead in steals with the Orioles' Brian Roberts, giving Crawford his fourth AL stolen-base crown in the last five seasons. He also turned in personal bests in batting average, on-base average and doubles in 2007. Crawford missed the last two weeks of the season with a groin injury, but he'll be fully healed long before spring training. The scary part is that Crawford is just 26; his prime is starting right now, and the Rays have him under contract (at bargain prices) through 2010. He'll return as the Rays' regular left fielder in 2008.
Crawford has now led the AL in steals in three of the past four seasons, has hit .300+ in each of the past three seasons and has increased his homers three years running. With Crawford, the best is yet to come as he's the best defensive left fielder in baseball (irrelevant Gold Glove votes notwithstanding) and he turns just 26 this summer. If the Rays get some real power threats in the heart of their order, the rest of the world might just wake up and figure that out this year.
Crawford showed more power in 2005, kept his on-base average unchanged from last year, and was still a base-stealing machine (only limited by the fact he hit third for the Rays for part of the year, and they didn't want him running as much in that spot). Therefore, we'll officially stop whining that Crawford doesn't walk much -- he's proved he can be productive without doing so. Watch the spring box scores carefully to see where Crawford will hit in the order; he'll run more if he's batting either first or second.
With 114 SB over the past two years, Crawford is guaranteed to go high in drafts this spring. But he also became more of a baseball player in 2004 by becoming more selective, making more contact, and adding some power. With just 20 more walks per year (which he could get just by no longer swinging at pitches above his neck) he'd be a true offensive force. The Rays lose nothing with him in center while Rocco Baldelli is recuperating from knee surgery, since Crawford had a better range factor when he played there last year.
Crawford is still a better roto baseball asset (good BA, 55-for-65 in steals) than he is a real baseball player (his OPS of .671 was among the worst in baseball for a full-time player, and he had the worst strikeout-to-home-run ratio in the AL last year at 102-to-5). Still, he'll get playing time nearly every day in left field for the Rays, which means you'll want him on your roster again in 2004 for stolen bases if nothing else.
The Devil Rays called up Crawford in midseason last year, and he added speed to their lineup. But here's all you need to know about the good news and bad news on Crawford: 63 big-league games, six triples, nine steals, nine walks. He's fast, but that .290 OBP he posted last year has to get better if he wants to make his mark in the majors. Crawford hit .297 in 85 games at Triple-A last year, and the best place for him to learn his trade now is probably the majors. If he gets playing time, he'll post speed numbers for you, but nothing else is guaranteed – bid accordingly.