6 Reasons the Boston Red Sox Should Trade Carl Crawford ASAP

Sean Delorge@@sdelorgeCorrespondent IIIAugust 20, 2012

6 Reasons the Boston Red Sox Should Trade Carl Crawford ASAP

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    The 2012 MLB season is almost over, but there is still time left on the waiver deadline for the Boston Red Sox to trade Carl Crawford.

    The Red Sox need to strongly consider moving the left fielder as well as some other veterans on the team in order to improve the club moving forward.

    With injury concerns and over $100 million left on Crawford’s contract, the Red Sox need to try to trade him ASAP. If it can't happen now, it sure seems like it needs to happen eventually.

    Here are six reasons why the Red Sox should consider moving Crawford.

Red Sox Must Trade Carl Crawford Before Surgery Is a Must

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    Carl Crawford returned to the Red Sox despite speculation that his elbow injury requires Tommy John surgery. While we have yet to hear a definitive answer regarding the severity of the surgery, Crawford has made it known that he wants to be 100 percent and show fans that he deserves the $142 million contract.

    Though it would be difficult to trade Crawford with a potential surgery needed and over $100 million left on the contract, the Red Sox have the ability to eat part of the contract in order to facilitate a trade.

    Players such as Albert Pujols have shown they can play through the injury in the past.

The Red Sox Need a Corner Outfielder with a Stronger Arm

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    Even if Crawford had surgery and returned to form, his arm has never been his strong suit. He plays left field in Fenway for half the season, which makes it less of an issue, but corner outfielders need strong arms.

    Crawford is basically a center fielder that has played left field his entire career. In his 11-year career, Crawford has only played 54 of his 1,360 games in center field.

    The lack of arm strength is a minor issue, but for a franchise that values the little things, the lack of arm strength is another reason why trading Crawford makes sense.

Crawford Is Blocking the Development of Prospects

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    With Ryan Kalish showing he is major league ready, Carl Crawford is simply slowing his progress. Cody Ross has shown that he can handle the pressure of playing in Boston, and he may be better served playing left field.

    By trading Crawford and moving Ross to left, that would allow Kalish to show off his defensive ability in the larger right field at Fenway.

    Not only would this help the club this year, but ridding the team of Crawford would allow them to utilize Jackie Bradley Jr. when he is ready.

Carl Crawford’s Contract Will Prevent the Team from Re-Signing Jacoby Ellsbury

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    Though they play different positions, Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury are extremely similar players. Aside from 2011, both players had similar batting averages and slugging percentages, and they were known more for their speed than anything else.

    In 2011, Ellsbury showed that he actually has more potential than Crawford. Being a 30-home run hitter while playing Gold Glove-caliber defense in center field is rare and invaluable.

    While the Sox would have to eat most of Crawford's salary to make a deal work since his value has only plummeted since the team outbid everyone to sign him 16 months ago, moving Crawford and his contract could help the Red Sox re-sign the more valuable Ellsbury.

Carl Crawford Forces Dustin Pedroia to Move Lower in the Lineup

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    While Carl Crawford is a really good player, he doesn’t have a definitive spot to bat in the lineup in Boston.

    He is ideally a great No. 7 hitter on this team, but he showed last year that he struggled mentally when he was in that spot despite having success in the No. 6 and 7 spots.

    Either Crawford needs to agree to hit lower in the lineup where he could help the team the most, or the Red Sox need to trade him.

Carl Crawford Will Only Get Worse After This Year

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    Even if Carl Crawford has Tommy John surgery and returns in 2013 as a more confident player, he is on the wrong side of 30 and still has five years and over $100 million left on his contract.

    As a player that relies on his speed for success, Crawford will slow down and his primary skill will no longer be a strength. Unless he can take a page out of Johnny Damon’s playbook and become a better hitter as he ages, Crawford will go from an All-Star to an above-average player real fast.

    The Red Sox would be smart to trade Crawford before he loses more value.