The Los Angeles Dodgers effectively got younger as Carl Crawford was designated for assignment. The move was officially announced Sunday morning, but the club arrived at the decision Saturday night.
Cutting ties with Crawford puts the Dodgers on the hook through 2017 for his remaining salary that’s just north of $35 million. “It certainly was a conversation point when we’re going through it,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said of financial aspect tied to the organization’s decision.
“We have a responsibility to put the best 25 guys on the field, while monitoring and managing depth and the overall 40-man roster. We just felt like this put us in the best position to win games moving forward.”
Friedman lauded Crawford for his handling of the news and echoed manager Dave Roberts’ sentiment that Father Time had simply caught up to the veteran outfielder. “It was a great conversation we had and he was completely understanding,” Roberts said.
“One of the things he was most proud of was to let everybody know how proud he was to be a Dodger.” Crawford suffered a back injury in April that forced him to the disabled list. He never looked the part of a healthy player, batting .185/.230/.235 with two doubles, six RBIs, a .208 wOBA and 27 wRC+ in 30 games.
Roberts alluded to the fact that the 34 year old struggled to get his body in position to play. “He’s had a great run, but where we’re at right now and where this organization wants to go, you have a lot of young guys coming,” the rookie manager said.
“Carl was in that position 14 years ago. There’s guys who need opportunities to make us better, and he completely understood that.” While trimming away at their outfield depth aids the juggling act, Friedmand and Roberts expressed the difficulty in making such a roster decision.
“That’s a tough one for Carl, myself and the organization. Carl has had a great career — 14 years and had a lot of great moments,” Roberts said.
“What he brought to the club as far as playing in postseason games, the impact he had on young players and veteran players, the experience that he brought, it’s going to be missed.”