Carl Crawford: The Trade the New York Yankees Should Make Tomorrow

Perry ArnoldSenior Analyst IJanuary 11, 2010

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 08:  Carl Crawford #13 of the Tampa Bay Rays is caught in a first inning rundown against the New York Yankees on September 8, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Brian Cashman should be on the phone to Tampa Bay right now. Get the details worked out and announce tomorrow that the Yankees have acquired Carl Crawford from the Rays.

Send Brett Gardner, a top minor league pitcher and Austin Romine to the Rays and bring Crawford to patrol left field for the next six to eight years.

Crawford turned 29 years old on Aug. 5, 2009. He is just coming into his prime. He has 162 game averages of .295 BA; .335 OBP; .772 OPS; OPS+ of 113. He has also averaged 13 home runs and 54 stolen bases over a 162-game season.

He will hit more home runs than Brett Gardner ever will. He will get on base more than Gardner, and he will steal more bases than Gardner. And he is a better defensive player than Gardner. 

Gardner is barely younger than Crawford and has never shown the ability to hit big league pitching consistently.

Austin Romine is a very good catching prospect for New York but the Yankees have several and the most coveted by other teams seems to be Jesus Montero. Trade Romine now and develop Montero.

Crawford will be a free agent at the end of 2010 and there is probably no way the Rays will pay him what he will demand to stay in Florida.

The Yankees must make the deal contingent on signing Crawford to a long term deal and right now his value may be less than it will be later. He could probably be signed for $8-$10 million per year on a seven year deal.

The Yankee outfield is not good right now and bringing Crawford over makes a great deal of sense. He will greatly improve the team right now and for many years to come.