Another spring, another setback for Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford. Gee, where have we all heard that one before?
This time it is lingering elbow pain, probably the residue from his Tommy John surgery back in August, that is slowing Crawford down. There is no timetable for when he might return but, needless to say, Red Sox fans should be relieved that this is one less headache that Sox management has to deal with this spring.
Since getting to LA, Crawford has had a lot to say about his time in Boston- namely that there was too much pressure to perform and he was never really comfortable. Well, what did he expect?
I was one of the biggest proponents of bringing Crawford to Boston because of how he regularly destroyed the Red Sox with his play as a member of the Rays. Remember him running at will on Red Sox catchers a few years ago? Or the many doubles and triples into the gap?
I, and many others thought Crawford would bring that dynamic presence to the Sox but, instead, his tenure here was filled with sour moods and injuries. The fact he’s gone is now a huge positive.
Say what you will about GM Ben Cherington, but if he does nothing else good in his career, he will always be credited with getting three huge contracts and attitudes out of town in one fell swoop. (Crawford, Beckett and Gonzo)
If Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster (the main returns from the Dodgers) turn out to be good to very good major league pitchers, then Cherington will be an even bigger hero because the team will have successfully procured the rarest commodity in the game- young and dominant starting pitching.
I actually feel bad for Crawford in some ways because the injuries are what caused him many of his problems in Boston. I still think when healthy he can be a dynamic player. But getting him out of here and admitting he was a mistake with five years left on his deal was the right move for all involved.
The Red Sox are fortunate the Dodgers were a willing trade partner. Because no matter how much Crawford might ultimately succeed as a Dodger, the move to get him out of Boston and free up all that cash was the right thing to do.
Episodes like this elbow flare up remind us that Crawford will continue to be a big injury risk going forward. At least the Sox no longer have to worry about it.