This is not the most surprising news, but we need to toss it out there: Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford isn't expected to make his regular season debut until late April, or, more likely, May. Crawford is still recovering from January wrist surgery and hasn't swung a bat since suffering a setback in March. Boston clearly doesn't intend to rush this recovery.
Details right here, via the Boston Herald...
"The only thing I know about that is that you don't want to put the kid, anybody rehabbing, under the pressure of a deadline," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "It can never be the calendar or the schedule that says when a guy is healthy. It can't be. It's just not fair."
"Are we going to ask him to have 50 at-bats somewhere? Probably."
This news shouldn't matter much to Yahoo!'s Scott Pianowski, who just gave Crawford an official list price of $14, but unofficially prices him at no-[expletive]-way-not-on-my-roster. (Truth: Scott has spent a significant amount of time this off-season attempting to negotiate a Crawford deal on behalf of the Red Sox, reaching out to fans of other teams. Pretty sure we agreed in principle to a Crawford-for-Alfonso Soriano swap. Just need to get Ben and Jed on board, then phone that thing in to the league office).
When last we saw Crawford in action, he was not-quite-catching a soft liner off the bat of Robert Andino, a play that ended Boston's season in 2011. And now he's sidelined for the opening weeks of 2012. You have to worry that Crawford's wrist issue will sap the power that he's never really had, so we'll need to monitor his 50-at bat visit to the minors, whenever and wherever it happens.
If we were bidding on Crawford today, right now, I'd pursue him to something like $16 — nearly what Ray Flowers spent in Tout Mixed. We know there's still some speed here, and, if you eliminate last season's atrocious April, the 2011 numbers don't look quite so terrible. Crawford hit .279 from May to September, with a .757 OPS, 10 homers and 14 stolen bases. Those stats aren't too out of line with his career norms, except of course for the steals. But this is a 30-year-old player who's ranked in the top-three in the A.L. in stolen bases seven times in his career, and he declared back in February, "I definitely want to try and get back to stealing 50-plus bases like I always did."
Please do, Carl. It's your one great fantasy skill.
So I'm willing to give the guy another shot at his current price. Crawford went in Round 7 of the Friends & Family draft last week, at pick No. 86. The three outfielders selected just ahead of him were Michael Morse, Jason Heyward and Shane Victorino; those who went shortly after were Brett Gardner, Jayson Werth and Cameron Maybin.
Too high? Too low? Dead-on perfect? Feel free to place a bid in comments.
Crawford's current Yahoo! ADP is 94.2, which to me seems reasonable, but this guy disagrees...