It took some extra persuasion, Epstein placing a call to Sox owners Tom Werner and John W. Henry on Wednesday night and making a passionate case for the seven-year, $142 million offer he sought to make to Crawford. ... Werner listened first, expressed his reservations about adding a seventh year to the team's offer, then advised Epstein to make his pitch to Henry. ...Crawford will turn 36 in August 2017, the final season of his contract.
Henry, who had a few reservations of his own, gave Epstein the green light. ...
Hours before Epstein cinched the deal for Crawford, he had jokingly asked during his media session who was the most hated GM on the premises, then said by morning it might be him. ...
Scouts were assigned to follow Crawford, Gonzalez and Jayson Werth, the other outfielder on the Sox radar, not for a series or two, but a half season. Detailed "white papers" were prepared, arguing the pros and cons of acquiring the players. Bill James, the statistical analyst, did a study analyzing how young, athletic players like Crawford age over the course of a long-term contract and comparing various body types. James concluded that such players generally kept their value until age 35 or 36.
This was not quite the equivalent of a WikiLeak, but for the Red Sox it was about as close as they ever come to revealing company secrets.The Red Sox have also made an offer to free-agent catcher Russell Martin; the Yankees and Blue Jays have also had discussions with Martin and his agent.
When the Boston media contingent filed into the living room of Theo Epstein's hotel suite for their nightly briefing Wednesday -- the Red Sox general manager was still in an adjoining room -- a dry erase board was perched on an easel in a corner of the room. It was covered with names and numbers, presumably of the players the Sox had interest in acquiring, and what their contract status was. One of the notations, "CC," referred to Carl Crawford.
But before reporters could take advantage of this unexpected windfall, media relations director Pam Ganley quietly but quickly glided over to the board, took it down, and turned it so it was facing the wall.
How lame is Tony Massarotti (and his sports radio co-host Mike Felger)? Click here and read what they have been saying about the Sox and Crawford. Painful.
CC Sabathia, asked if Boston is now the team to beat in the AL East:
You want me to say the Red Sox are the favorites? I mean ... I think the Yankees. If you look in our clubhouse and look at our lineup and the things we can do, it's hard not to like our chances. ... They made some good moves.