With a group of outfielders that features plenty of young talent, the Los Angeles Dodgers seemingly had their hand forced in designating Carl Crawford for assignment earlier this month. Predictably unable to trade the veteran, the club then released Crawford on June 13.
In 30 games this season, the 34-year-old outfielder hit a lowly .185/.230/.235, with two doubles, six RBIs, and a 27 wRC+. While many remember Crawford’s injuries and struggles during his tenure with the Dodgers, particularly this season, there were also positive moments and stretches where he performed well.
Crawford batted .278/.320/.400 with 55 doubles, nine triples, 18 home runs, 99 RBIs and 48 stolen bases in 320 games over parts of four seasons with the Dodgers.
Currently a free agent, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times recently reported the last-place Tampa Bay Rays reportedly would be interested in re-signing their former star:
If OF Carl Crawford, released [June 13] by the Dodgers, were interested, the Rays would at least talk about a reunion.
However, in the time since Topkin’s report, Tampa Bay signed outfielders Oswaldo Arcia and Eury Perez to Minor League contracts. Crawford was a four-time All-Star over nine seasons with the Rays, batting .296/.337/.444 with 215 doubles, 105 triples, 104 home runs, 592 RBIs and 409 stolen bases in 1,235 games.
He helped the club reach its first World Series in 2008, and was named All-Star Game MVP in 2009. Aside from the Rays’ recent signings, another hurdle may be Crawford’s disdain for the turf at Tropicana Field. He believes it’s played a role in the various injuries he’s sustained in the latter stages of his career.
Whether with the Rays or another club, any contract Crawford signs will offset the nearly $35 million the Dodgers owe Crawford through 2017.