Extra Bases

Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth?

Two players who will be significant free agents next season — Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth of the Phillies — have faced the Red Sox on this road trip. Given the choice, which would you sign?

Crawford is 28 and Werth is 31. But Crawford has been playing on turf for nine years and has attempted 460 stolen bases. You have to wonder about how his body will hold up from all that abuse. He also is a fairly low OBP guy (.336) over his career.

Crawford is a wonderful left fielder, the best in the game, and seems like a low-maintenance personality.

Werth is 31 but has better power and a career .363 OPB. He also could command a little less money than Crawford will. He’s a right fielder — and J.D. Drew is signed through the end of 2011 — but has played 201 games in left in his career.


Assuming the Sox retain Jacoby Ellsbury, I’d take Werth. It’s hard to see the Sox having an offense with two stolen-base threats playing prominent roles. While the game is changing to a more athletic one, stolen bases remain a weapon that sabermetrically inclined teams will use cautiously because of the risk involved.

Power never goes out of style and the Sox will need that next season one way or another. It’s a good debate because both are good players and there is no wrong answer.

Assuming both Crawford and Werth enter the market, who do you like? Add your comment here.

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