Red Sox sign Crawford to seven-year deal

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Red Sox sign Crawford to seven-year deal

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- For the second time in less than a week, theRed Sox rocked the baseball world with a mammoth acquisition, signingfree agent outfielder Carl Crawford to a seven-year, 142 million deal.

The Sox outbid the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim andothers to land Crawford, the premier position player on the market thiswinter.

The Boston Globe was the first to report the deal in place.

The contract is the biggest given out to a player by the Red Sox since JohnHenry and Co. purchased the team in 2002 and comes just days afterthe Sox landed first baseman Adrian Gonzalez in a five-player deal withthe San Diego Padres.

Once the Sox obtained Gonzalez, it seemed unlikely the club would pursue such a marquee free agent as Crawford.

General manager Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona visitedCrawford in his native Houston last week, a day before meeting withfellow free agent outfielder Jayson Werth in Chicago.

Last Sunday, the day before the winter meetings kicked off, Werthsigned a landmark seven-year, 126 million deal with the WashingtonNationals and most people in the game thought that contract wouldembolden Crawford to get 8 or perhaps even 10 years.

Instead, he signed for the same length, while topping Werth's contract by 16 million.

The 20.2 million average annual value (AAV) of the deal is thehighest ever for an outfielder -- topping, slightly, the eight-year,160 million deal signed by Manny Ramirez with the previous Red Soxownership group.

It's also the 10th-biggest contract in the history of the game,exceeded only by deals for Alex Rodriguez (twice), Derek Jeter, JoeMauer, Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, Ramirez, Troy Tulowitzski and MiguelCabrera.

Gonzalez is expected to eventually reach agreement on an extensionfor somewhere in the neighborhood of 147 million, bringing the Red Soxtotal investment in two players this winter to about 290 million.

Crawford, 29, is a lifetime .296 hitter with 409 stolen bases. He's ledthe American League in steals four times. He won the Gold Glove in 2010as well as the Silver Slugger award.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Quotes, notes, and stars: "No sign" of Ortiz slowing down

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Quotes, notes, and stars: "No sign" of Ortiz slowing down

Quotes, notes, and stars from the Red Sox' 4-2 win over the Yankees.

QUOTES:

* "He gathered himself and got a little rhythm as the night went along.'' - John Farrell on Henry Owens.

* "That's a rarity for Betances to leave his breaking ball up like he did. Once David saw it up, he attacked.'' - Farrell on David Ortiz's game-winning homer.

* "There's no sign of him slowing down. Tonight is a prime example of it. Key moment, big hit when we need it. There's a long resume there and it's continuing to build.'' - Farrell on Ortiz's ability to deliver in the clutch.

* "There were some mechanical adjustments that I made. I came out a little erratic, trying to do too much, maybe focusing too much. But as game went on, I kind of got into a rhythm.'' - Owens on his start.

* "I saw him throw a lot of breaking pitches to Mookie. The one they hit stayed up a little longer than usual. He's the kind of pitcher that, if you go up there looking for everything he's got, you're done.'' - Ortiz on his game-winning homer off Dellin Betances.

NOTES:

* Over his career, David Ortiz has hit 29 go-ahead homers from the eighth inning on.

* Ortiz has eight homers in his last 24 games against the Yankees.

* The win was the first this season for the Red Sox in a game in which they were tied or trailing after seven innings.

* The Red Sox have won five of their last six and seven of their last 10.

* The Yankees have been limited to three runs or fewer in their last six games.

* In 21 games, the Yankees have faced 10 lefty starters; in 22 games, the Red Sox have faced two.

* Masahiro Tanaka has issued just one walk in his last three starts.

STARS:

1) David Ortiz

With one swing of the bat, Ortiz untied a 2-2 game in the bottom of the eighth with a game-winning two-run homer.

2) Jackie Bradley Jr.

Bradley's penchant for delivering a big hit continued as he rapped a two-run double to left in the seventh to erase a 2-0 Yankee lead.

3) Masahiro Tanaka

He shut the Red Sox for six innings before allowing three hits and two runs in the seventh.

First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-2 win: Ortiz has flair for the dramatic

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First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-2 win: Ortiz has flair for the dramatic

First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-2 win over New York Yankees...

* David Ortiz still has a flair for the dramatic.

Matched against Yankees reliever Dellin Betances, Ortiz cracked a two-run homer into the Monster Seats to snap a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning. Ortiz now has 18 RBI in 23 games -- he didn't start in four of those games - and at 40, remains the one hitter opposing teams want to face with the game on the line.

Before the homer, Ortiz was 0-for-7 against Betances, with four strikeouts.

* All things considered, Henry Owens did OK.

Owens didn't fool anybody. He couldn't command his fastball, and when the Yankees did hit it, they hit it pretty hard. He walked three and hit another. But Owens managed to limit the damage in a big way, allowing just two hits in six innings despite 10 baserunners.

Occasionally, he would get bailed out by his changeup, which seems to be the lone pitch he has that is better than average by major league standards.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. continues to hit when it counts.

Bradley got the Red Sox offense going with a two-run, two-out double off Masahiro Tanaka, when the Sox were down to their final seven outs.

In the last week along, Bradley hit an extra-inning homer; a solo homer that represented the only run of the game; a ninth-inning triple; and Friday's big two-base hit.

That he has 10 RBI from the bottom of the order suggests he can provide some sock from that spot.

* Matt Barnes continues to make strides.

Since allowing a homer to Kevin Kiermaier on the last homestand, Barnes has allowed just one run in his last four appearances, covering 6 1/3 innings, while holding opposing hitters to a .208 batting average (5-for-24).

* The Yankees bullpen gets all the attention, but in relief of Owens, Barnes, Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel faced nine hitters and retired them all.