Crawford to Miami for Hanley and Bell? Somebody Pinch Me!

 

It’s not a surprise that the Red Sox are shopping Carl Crawford, but it is a shock to hear a rumor that the Miami Marlins might consider swapping Hanley Ramirez and Heath Bell for the fragile erstwhile Super star.

With the addition of Jose Reyes, Ramirez has been shoved to 3b and Bell has been an epic fail as closer with the Marlins.  Crawford has been injured and hints that he may need TJ surgery.

The logic of the rumored deal comes down to salaries and contracts.  From 2012 through 2014, the Sox would pay a bit more for the combo of Ramirez and Bell than they are slated to pay Crawford, but, from 2015 through 2017 the Marlins would still have Crawford on the payroll, while the Sox would be off the hook; they would have options to extend Ramirez and/or Bell.

CRAWFORD        RAMIREZ/BELL    DIFFERENCE

2012                        $19,500,000        $21,000,000        $1,500,000           MORE

2013                       $20,000,000        $24,500,000        $4,500,000           MORE

2014                        $20,250,000        $25,000,000        $4,750,000           MORE

2015                         $20,500,000        ???                         $20,500,000        LESS

2016                         $20,750,000        ???                         $20,750,000        LESS

2017                          $21,000,000        ???                         $21,000,000        LESS

Although this trade is a long shot, it is a good example of teams swapping huge contracts with the hope that a change of teams will rejuvenate the player they obtain.

No doubt the Giants would be glad to trade Zito for Crawford and Theo would be thrilled to swap Alphonso “Sorry-I-know” for the budget albatross he hung on the Sox.

Former Red Sox SS Ramirez is 28, Crawford is 30 and Bell is 34.

The Red Sox are contacting teams to determine their trade interest in Carl Crawford, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Red Sox reached out to both the Marlins and the Dodgers, but no deal appears close.

“There’s nothing going on with Carl,” Red Sox GM Ben Cherington told Rosenthal. “He’s our left fielder and we’re glad to have him back in our lineup.”

Crawford is in the second year of a seven-year, $142MM contract he signed following the 2010 season. His contract allows him to block trades to two teams and states that teams can’t flip him to the New York Yankees. Crawford, who returned from the disabled list two days ago, has lingering elbow issues that could require Tommy John surgery at some point. The 30-year-old posted a .255/.289/.405 line last year in his first season with the Red Sox.

The Marlins have informed the Boston Red Sox they’d be willing to trade Ramirez and closer Heath Bell for left fielder Carl Crawford and a prospect, according to four officials with knowledge of the talks. The four spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because negotiations are ongoing.

Two of the officials who are from the Red Sox told USA TODAY Sports there have been trade talks, but they were initiated by the Marlins. The Marlins, who sent vice president Dan Jennings to Boston to watch Crawford this week, say the talks are active, but they’re trying to determine whether to abandon their postseason hopes before pulling a trigger on any trade. They were 44-46 entering Wednesday, nine games out of first place in the National League East.

“Anything is possible,” said Crawford, who does not have Miami on his no-trade list, when approached Wednesday by news reporters. “Nothing really surprises me anymore.”

The trade would involve players signed to contracts guaranteeing $239 million, making it the second-biggest swap of contracts in baseball history. The 2004 trade that sent Alex Rodriguez to the New York Yankees from the Texas Rangers for Alfonso Soriano involved more than $257 million in contracts.

[http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/story/2012-07-18/carl-crawford-hanley-ramirez-trade/56309810/1]

An old commercial had this punch line:  Why trade a headache for an upset stomach?

Considering the fragility of Crawford’s body, as long as the Marlins would not require the Sox to pay part of Crawford’s salary from 2015-17, I would trade him for a younger, proven star player and consider Heath Bell a bonus.

What would you do?

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Topics: Alphonso Soriano, Barry Zito, Ben Cherington, Budget, Carl Crawford, Chicago Cubs, Contracts, Hanley Ramirez, Heath Bell, Miami Marlins, Salaries, San Francisco Giants, Theo Epstein

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