Speaking at the press conference to announce the signing of outfielder Carl Crawford Saturday morning, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein talked about his team's approach when committing to Crawford's seven-year, $142 million deal.
“We also have to look at our situation where we’re competing within a division, especially with a team, that has significant resources, so we have to do the best to compete,” Epstein said. “I know this is a significant long contract, I don’t think this is an irresponsible spend at all. If you look at it, our discipline over the years, our reliance on young players, the acquisition of someone like Adrian Gonzalez making $6.3 million, puts us in a position to do this.
“If you look at the biggest contracts in the history of the game, you have to go really far down the list to find one that we’ve done. This is the first contract of this nature that we’ve done since I took over as GM and since this ownership has been here. We’ve tried to do others in the past and we’ve walked away because of limits, and we would have walked away because of limits on this one as well. But one contract like this one in eight or nine offseasons I don’t think is irresponsible. I think it’s the aggressiveness that complements the framework of discipline of value and reliance of young players that we have.
“I’ve worked in a small market where you can’t even consider acquisitions like this, and that’s part of the equation down there. This is part of the equation for teams and and markets like ours and given that we’ve been really selective over the years in showing restraint over the years. This one made a lot of sense because of how we were positioned, adding the players of the caliber of Gonzalez and Crawford, who are 28- and 29-years old, respectively, and in their prime years. It makes a ton of sense for me. We’re not going to apologize for this.”
The breakdown for Crawford’s contract is as follows: ’11: $14 million; ’12: $19.5 million; ’13: $20 million; ’14: $20.25 million; ’15: $20.5 million; ’16: $20.75 million; ’17: $21 million.
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