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

Red Sox’ quotes, notes and stars from 2-1 loss to Rays

Red Sox’ quotes, notes and stars from 2-1 loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Notes, quotes and stars from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Rays:

QUOTES:

* "There's not much I can do about it now. It's kind of a waiting game and hopefully, the tests come back clean.'' -Andrew Benintendi, on the uncertainty surrounding his knee injury.

* "Sometimes, I like that, sometimes I don't because I'd kind of take a couple of quick outs in place of those to get a couple of more innings out there.'' -Drew Pomeranz on his career high 11 strikeouts.

* "That's probably the spot that looms the largest. Jackie's become more aggressive early in the count, but at the same time, that aggressiveness can work against you.'' -Farrell on Jackie Bradley Jr. swinging at the first pitch following a walk with the bases loaded.

NOTES:

* Drew Pomeranz recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts

 * Since moving to the leadoff spot, Dustin Pedroia has a slash line of .397/.418/.460 in 16 games.

* Pomeranz has yielded two runs or fewer in five consecutive starts.

* On the just-completed road trip, the Red Sox led in all but one game.

* Thursday's loss was the fourth this season in which the Sox allowed two runs or fewer.

 * The past 18 Red Sox losses have come by a combined 37 runs.

* Until Thursday, the Red Sox had won 20 of their past 31 day games.

* The bottom third of the makeshift Red Sox lineup combined to go 2-for-12.

* The Sox missed out on a chance to have an eight-win road trip, which would have been their first since 2011.

STARS:

1) Jake Odorizzi

The Rays started, facing a depleted Red Sox lineup, limited the Sox to a single run over seven innings, allowing just five hits and getting out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam by allowing just one run.

2) Mikie Mahtook

Mahtook was 0-for-34 when facing Drew Pomeranz in the seventh inning, but that didn't stop him from doubling home Steven Souza Jr with what proved to be the winning run.

3) Dustin Pedroia

The Sox couldn't generate much of anything at all offensively, but don't blame Pedroia. The leadoff hitter had three hits and a walk and was on base four times for the Sox.