Carl Crawford, Ex-Ray: Where Will He Land Next?

Chris ValContributor IMay 14, 2010

DUNEDIN, FL - MARCH 26: Outfielder Carl Crawford #13 of the  Tampa Bay Rays celebrates a run against the Toronto Blue Jays March 26, 2010 at Dunedin Stadium in Dunedin, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

After the 2010 season, Carl Crawford's contract will expire and the Rays most likely will not be able to resign him.  Crawford has been an absolute star, play maker, and a very loyal team mate for the Rays.  As we all know, the Rays club hasn't always looked the brightest at times, but we never heard one ill word from Crawford.

Over Crawfords career, all with the Rays,  he has hit for an average of .296 with an on base percentage of .336.  He has 18 home runs and 518 RBI's.  But, we all know the strength of CC's game is his game changing speed on the bases and in the outfield.  Over his 9 year career CC has recorded 371 stolen bases and has only been caught 84 times.  That means 78 percent of the time Crawford attempts to steal, he will be safe! 

As we all have watched and admired Carl Crawford's ability and what he has been able to do on the field, it may be time for the Rays and their fans to say good bye after the 2010 season.  Let's be honest, do the Rays really have a shot at re signing Crawford after this year?  No, they will not have the money to resign him.  The Rays know that and that's why they have another star in the making in LF, Desmond Jennings.

Jennings may actually develop into something even greater than Crawford.  A very scary thought for the AL East.  But, lets focus on Crawford and where he may land after this 2010 season.

Obviously, the Yankees have been the talk of the town but, Crawford going to the Yankees doesn't make much sense.  They have recently acquired center fielder Curtis Granderson and with the way Gardner has been a force so far this year, I wouldn't believe he is going anywhere either.  Nick Swisher's contract goes through to 2011 with a club option for 2012, wouldn't make much sense to trade him.  Therefore, the Yanks don't look like a competitor for CC, but you can never count them out.  So, lets move onto another candidate for Crawford.

The team I thought would be a great fit for Crawford would be the Mets.  I know, it may sound crazy but just think about it for a minute.  Jose Reyes, Carl Crawford, Carlos Beltran, David Wright and Jason Bay.  A very solid lineup.  Bay is the Mets current left fielder, but I see no reason why a change to right field isn't possible. 

Another team I thought would be a great fit for Crawford, is the Cardinals.  Is this likely to happen?  I would say no, because of the fact they are going to have to pay big Albert big money to stay.  To just think of a line up with Crawford, Holliday and Pujols sounds like a dream come true to Cardinal fans. 

The last team I thought had a good shot at making a run at Crawford, is the Red Sox.  They are currently struggling with the bats and Crawford would add a huge jump start to their often times dead offense.  With Jacoby Ellsbury and CC, that's over 100 stolen bases in a season by only two players.  A scary thought for the Yankees and the rest of the American League. 

Overall, we know CC is going to be very valuable wherever he goes.  Hitting for average, great defense, and stealing bases will be his forte.  Its just a matter of where he will fit best, and where he will make the biggest difference.