Cafardo:Werth may have been a more worthy signing than Crawford-Do you agree?

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    Cafardo:Werth may have been a more worthy signing than Crawford-Do you agree?

    by Nick Cafardo/Boston Globe:

    We finally got the official bottom line. Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez came in at a shade under $300 million.

    It’s hard to evaluate the signings this early, except we know Crawford has not started well and Gonzalez hasn’t yet lived up to having the perfect swing for Fenway Park. Whether they are pressing or just not yet in the flow or whether they’re being weighed down by their massive contracts is anyone’s guess.

    A month or two from now we’ll likely see Crawford’s tremendous skill level manifest itself in a variety of ways, but mostly with world-class speed that shows up on the base paths and on defense. We will likely see the beautiful inside-out stroke Gonzalez has always possessed, and we are sure to be reminded of Fred Lynn.

    The Red Sox’ new acquisitions will likely be all right.

    Whenever a team spends that much money, it is under tremendous scrutiny from media, fans, and other teams.

    We wrote in this space a while back that Tampa Bay hoped Johnny Damon would be 60-70 percent of Crawford, but as one clever texter wrote, “Wonder if Crawford will be 60-70 percent of Damon.’’

    While the Crawford signing was exciting, it also raised questions about whether the Sox needed that type of player. They were already lefthanded-oriented and there seemed to be more of a need for a righthanded power hitter than a lefthanded speedster. They seemed to have that already with Jacoby Ellsbury, and Crawford was a bit redundant.

    “One of the worst decisions both by a team and by the player was Jason Bay leaving Boston,’’ said one National League general manager. “In New York, he’s like a fish out of water. Whatever the Red Sox wanted to put in that contract [clauses to protect the team in case Bay’s knees broke down], Jason should have gone along with it because he was so comfortable in that lineup and so perfect as a power-hitting righthanded bat. I think they miss that. As good as Crawford is, they miss Bay and Bay misses them.’’

    It’s true that Bay’s career has spiraled downward since he signed with the Mets, where he’s miscast not only for the city but for the ballpark. Bay also has been injured a lot. The Sox replaced Bay with Mike Cameron, who suffered from an abdominal tear last season and didn’t live up to Bay’s numbers. And when coupled with Ellsbury’s injury-plagued season, it was a disaster.

    There are baseball people who still believe that Jayson Werth was a much better fit for the Sox than Crawford, but Theo Epstein believed seven years at $126 million was too much for Werth. Maybe it was. But was eight years, $142 million too much for Crawford? That’s what the next few months and years will answer for us.

    Werth signed with the Nationals after a nice run with the Phillies. At 31, he’s two years older than Crawford and his skill set is different.

    Werth is a hard-nosed player who hits in the middle of the order. He had a .921 OPS last season and is at .845 for his career. Crawford has a .777 career OPS and his .851 a year ago was his highest ever.

    Crawford has more wear and tear. Despite being younger, he’s played many more games — 1,247 to 788. As speed guys get older their legs tend to go, though with Crawford that seems years away because he’s in such tremendous shape.

    Crawford is batting .137. He’s been shifted from third in the order to seventh to second, and now he’s in the leadoff spot. His skills seem better suited for batting first or second; he’s somewhat miscast as a middle-of-the-order hitter. There’s been no easy place to put him, and the constant shifting reflects that. Werth, like Bay, is more of a 5 through 7 hitter.

    What did the Red Sox need most after obtaining a lefthanded bat like Gonzalez?

    “There’s no question Werth was the better fit because it balances their lineup better,’’ said an American League GM. “It seemed like the Red Sox wanted to make sure [Crawford] was kept away from the Yankees and they did that by offering that type of contract. He’ll be a heck of a player for them, there’s no doubt about that. His speed and Ellsbury’s speed should play well together over the course of the season. I think Werth would have given them some more grit. More of a righthanded threat. With Ellsbury, [David] Ortiz, Gonzalez and [J.D.] Drew they had a big lefthanded presence already. Not sure that many of us are unhappy they chose Crawford over Werth. But Werth just seemed to fit that lineup better.’’

    And the feeling is Crawford can be pitched to. There are also many ways to get Werth out, or so the Phillies think. When the Nationals faced the Phillies last week, Philadelphia GM Ruben Amaro Jr. was reminded of a comment he made after Werth signed with Washington.

    “We’ll get him out a lot,’’ Amaro said.

    When asked if he knew the secret to getting Werth out, Amaro said, “I believe that we do.’’

    As we watch these two players over time, we will ask who’s better? The consensus is Crawford is better, but not necessarily the better fit. It will be fascinating to watch the truth unfold.

     
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    Re: Cafardo:Werth may have been a more worthy signing than Crawford-Do you agree?

    Theo made the right decision. Carl Crawford has a .298 career average, and stole 47 bases while driving in 90 runs as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010. He is a five-tool player. Although Crawford somewhat lacks power – averaging 14 home runs per season – he more than makes up for it with his base stealing and runs scoring abilities.
     
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    Re: Cafardo:Werth may have been a more worthy signing than Crawford-Do you agree?

    Werth would certainly have been a better fit.  And, he'd slide nicely right into right field after Drew's contract ends.  Getting Crawford was essentially doubling down on Elibury except Elibury is a damn sight cheaper.  By trying to keep him away from the Yankees the RS in affect did the Yankees a favor as they might have thought in necessary to get him once Lee went to Phillies.  With Gardner, as the RS with Elibury, the Yankees didn't need Crawford. 


    I'm pretty sure that Crawford will come around as long as the Nation shows him some patience.  If he founders much longer and the Nation turns him into some kind of whipping boy than the possibility that this signing starts looking a lot like the Rentiria signing grows.  The difference is at what Crawford is getting paid he is untradeable short of the RS taking on some equally onerous big FA contract.  Which begs the question;  How do yo think Vernon Wells would look with a B on his cap?

     
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    Re: Cafardo:Werth may have been a more worthy signing than Crawford-Do you agree?

    In Response to Re: Cafardo:Werth may have been a more worthy signing than Crawford-Do you agree?:
    and he plays average defense at best. 
    Posted by jarretfromportsmouth


    Are you sure you aren't basing this on a 14 game sample instead of an 1179 game sample where he has perennially been one of the top defensive LF's in the game?
     
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    Re: Cafardo:Werth may have been a more worthy signing than Crawford-Do you agree?



    I think it is too early to decide which player would have been a better fit. 

    If I was the GM, I would have chosen Crawford. 

    But I'm sure Scott Boras will disagree with me.  LOL
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Cafardo:Werth may have been a more worthy signing than Crawford-Do you agree?

    Werth did not want to play for a big market team.

    I read this in S.I., he is happy to be out of the public eye.

    Crawford will be fine, give him a f&%*#ing chance! He's only been a Red Sox for 3 weeks of regular season play.
     
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    Re: Cafardo:Werth may have been a more worthy signing than Crawford-Do you agree?

    In Response to Re: Cafardo:Werth may have been a more worthy signing than Crawford-Do you agree?:
    Werth would certainly have been a better fit.  And, he'd slide nicely right into right field after Drew's contract ends.  Getting Crawford was essentially doubling down on Elibury except Elibury is a damn sight cheaper.  By trying to keep him away from the Yankees the RS in affect did the Yankees a favor as they might have thought in necessary to get him once Lee went to Phillies.  With Gardner, as the RS with Elibury, the Yankees didn't need Crawford.  I'm pretty sure that Crawford will come around as long as the Nation shows him some patience.  If he founders much longer and the Nation turns him into some kind of whipping boy than the possibility that this signing starts looking a lot like the Rentiria signing grows.  The difference is at what Crawford is getting paid he is untradeable short of the RS taking on some equally onerous big FA contract.  Which begs the question;  How do yo think Vernon Wells would look with a B on his cap?
    Posted by heobrien


    heobrien -

    It's been 14 games, and all of his performance indicators are pretty much inline with his career rates.  As a Yankee fan, did you freak out about Mark Teixeira hitting .200/.367/.371 through 4/30/2009?  Of course not.  Only an idiot would do that.  All Teixeira did was lead the league in 2009 was lead the league in home runs, RBI, and total bases while producing a 5-6 WAR season.  It's nice to see that you're trying to insight panic among the inmates, but when you break it down rationally (you know, with facts) your argument holds no water.
     

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