Report: Red Sox contact Crawford and Werth

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Report: Red Sox contact Crawford and Werth

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, the Red Sox had a front-office contingent in Houston Wednesday, meeting with representatives of free-agent outfielder Carl Crawford, and will meet with outfielder Jayson Werth and his agent, Scott Boras, Thursday in Chicago.

This continues a trend for the Sox in the last several years. In the week prior to the 2008 Winter Meetings, general manager Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona met with Mark Teixeira in what wound up being an unsuccessful effort to land the free agent first baseman. Last year, the Sox visited John Lackey before the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis and wound up signing the right-hander.

Crawford, 29, and Werth, who will turn 32 next May, are the other top two outfielders on the free-agent market, and the Sox, in need of outfield help, are nterested.

Crawford just completed his ninth season in Tampa Bay and is coming off a career year. He hit .307 with a .356 on-base percentage and a .495 slugging percentage, and set career highs in triples with 13, home runs with 19, RBI with 90, and runs scored with 110.

In his career, the left-handed-hitting Crawford has a .296 average with 592 RBI and 104 HR. He's also stolen 409 bases, with a career high of 60 (in 2009), has swiped 50 or more in five seasons.

He's a strong defensive left fielder and it's thought the Red Sox would leave him there and play Jacoby Ellsbury in center. Crawford has been a top-of-the-order hitter in Tampa but has expressed interest in moving to the middle of the order. The Red Sox, who have already lost Victor Martinez and are expected to lose Adrian Beltre to free agency, would probably bat third or fifth in Boston.

Crawford is expected to receive the longest contract of any position player in this year's free-agent market, with some forecasting a deal that could be as long as seven or eight years.

The Rays, who have said they're cutting payroll this offseason, have zero hope of retaining him. The Angels have been regarded as the favorites to sign Crawford; in fact, L.A. outfielder Torii Hunter has already reached out to Crawford. Los Angeles, coming off a rare losing season, has signaled a willingness to spend freely this winter in an attempt to close the gap between themselves and the defending league champion Rangers in the A.L. West.

Werth batted .296 for the Phillies last year with 27 home runs and 85 RBI, along with an OBP of .388 and a slugging percentage of .532. He's hit 87 home runs in the last three seasons and, as a right-handed power hitter, would fill a glaring need for the Red Sox, many of whose biggest hitters (David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury, J.D. Drew) are left-handed.

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

Shaughnessy: Red Sox have a chance to flip this around

Shaughnessy: Red Sox have a chance to flip this around

Mike Felger and Dan Shaughnessy discuss the Boston Red Sox bouncing back from their slump with a win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Quotes, notes and stars: Fourth inning 'a grind' for Porcello

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Quotes, notes and stars: Fourth inning 'a grind' for Porcello

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 8-2 win over Tampa Bay

 

QUOTES

"I can't say enough about the way our position players have continued to grind away. . . Tonight was just another example of that.'' - John Farrell.

"He's been everything that we could have hoped. You look to a starting pitcher to go out and be consistent every fifth day -- he's been a model of that for us.'' - Farrell on Rick Porcello.

"It's nice to come back with a statement game tonight. The past couple of week haven't been good for us, so it was nice to get back on the right track tonight.'' - Travis Shaw.

"Preventing them from scoring first was big and then limiting the big inning. The fourth inning was a grind. I dug myself a hole and had to find a way out of it.'' - Rick Porcello.

 

NOTES

* Rick Porcello became the first Red Sox starter to record a win since David Price beat Seattle on Jume 19.

* Porcello is unbeaten over his last eight starts, going 3-0 with five no-decisions.

* Porcello had gone 19 straight starts without allowing more than two walks, the longest such streak for a Red Sox starter since Curt Schilling went 33 in a row.

* The Red Sox snapped a three-game losing streak and are one of two teams (Cleveland is the other) to not have lost four straight this season.

* Boston has a major league-leading 22 games in which it has scored eight or more runs.

* The first six hitters in the Red Sox lineup were 11-for-24, while the bottom three were a combined 0-for-13.

* Travis Shaw's home run was measured at 449 feet, the second-longest homer by a Red Sox player this season.

* In one night, Travis Shaw had more RBI (five) than he had in his previous 27 games (four).

* David Ortiz tied Frank Thomas in career RBI (1,704); both are in 23rd place.

 

STARS

1) Travis Shaw

Shaw belted out three hits -- including his first homer in the month of June -- and knocked in five RBI, tying a career high.

2) Rick Porcello

In a perfect world, Porcello would have gone a little deeper, but kept the Rays off the scoreboard early and helped set the tone for the night.

3) Hanley Ramirez

Ramirez reached base five times with two hits -- both singles -- and three walks - one intentional - and seemed to be in the middle of every Red Sox rally.