The Boston Red Sox have agreed to a seven-year, $142 million contract with free agent outfielder Carl Crawford.
Last season for the Tampa Rays, Crawford hit .307 with 62 extra base hits. The signing of Crawford almost immediately makes the Red Sox the best team in baseball on paper.
As the Winter Meetings continued, it was widely believed that Crawford was waiting to see how the Cliff Lee negotiations unfolded. While Lee has toyed with his suitors, unwilling to engage anyone in serious talks, the second biggest free agent of the offseason just went off the table.
It's been a busy offseason for the Red Sox, who also traded for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez earlier this week.
Crawford had drawn interest from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Texas Rangers and New York Yankees.
Yesterday, sources had reported that the Angels were far and away the favorite to land Crawford and one insider said, "It was almost like he's already on the team."
Well, he'll be wearing white and red next season, except it will be on the other side of the country in Boston.
Now that the Red Sox have officially inked Crawford, it only makes the Yankees even more desperate to sign Lee. They're falling far behind the Red Sox, their biggest competitor in the division, and will need Lee even more than they needed him just a few hours ago.
Also earlier in the week, another free agent outfielder, Jayson Werth, signed a seven-year, $125 million deal with the Washington Nationals. That signing raised eyebrows all over baseball and it was assumed the deal would also affect the asking price of Crawford.
Well, we now know exactly how much it will cost to sign Crawford. It cost the Red Sox $142 million and the Yankees a division.