Boston Globe Scribe Nick Cafardo Says Jason Werth Would've Been Better for Sox
Carl Crawford has been off to a dismal start for the Boston Red Sox, mustering just a .130 batting average with seven hits and two walks in 56 plate appearances through three hitless at-bats in Sunday's game against the visiting Blue Jays.
It's safe to say that Crawford isn't the Carl Crawford who hit .307 with 19 home runs and 90 RBI with the Tampa Bay Rays last year.
Maybe it's not too surprising, though. Crawford's career on-base percentage is a paltry .336, and it was only an average .356 in 2010. Crawford makes up for some of that with his five tools by slugging at a decent clip (.441 in his career) and being a perennial MLB leader in stolen bases, but it shouldn't be too surprising to see him struggle to reach base for stretches.
Partly with that in mind, Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe questioned today why the Sox let Jayson Werth go to the Nationals for a cheaper price ($126 million over seven years) than Crawford ($146 over eight).
Hindsight is 20-20, and Werth isn't really off to a torrid start this season (.697 OPS), but he's reached base safely 19 times (vs. nine for Crawford) and has two home runs to his credit. More importantly, though, is that Werth has a career on-base percentage of .365 and slugging percentage of .479. Last season Werth posted a .296/.388/.532 line for a .921 OPS, about 70 points higher than Crawford's.
Defense plays a factor for sure (Crawford was about seven runs better in the "total fielding runs above average" stat last year, according to BaseballProjection.com), but one has to wonder if Werth was the safer choice per dollar.
In terms of the fantasy impact, which is relatively irrelevant to Boston's decision-making, it's still an interesting comparison...though it all depends on what kind of league you're in.
Crawford is still the better choice in a rotisserie league that factors stolen bases, so don't go selling low on him if you own him in a roto league, but Werth is a much better choice in points-based leagues and holds a value that approaches Crawford's in roto leagues due to the extra power he boasts. It'd be interesting to see which team would get the better deal if one was traded for the other in a fantasy league.
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