The Red Sox suffered a plethora of injuries last season and missed the playoffs. Attendance slumped and advertising dollars dried up. Meanwhile, the Patriots are poised to make a run deep into the postseason, the Celtics added Shaquille O’Neal and appear ready to challenge the Lakers for the NBA crown and the Bruins look like a Stanley Cup contender. Some pundits started saying the Pats had surpassed the Sox in popularity and conjectured The Olde Towne Team’s sellout streak could be on the line.

And then New England Sports Ventures purchased an English soccer team and Red Sox Nation started getting restless. The Red Sox ownership knew they had to do something…and do something they did!

In the wake of acquiring first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the San Diego Padres and then reaching an understanding with him on a seven-year, $154 million contract extension that (reportedly) will be finalized after Opening Day, the Red Sox have struck again! It’s being reported that the Red Sox have reached an agreement with the top position player in this year’s free-agent class, agreeing to a contract with outfielder Carl Crawford that will pay him $142 million over seven years—the 10th largest deal in big-league history.

The acquisitions of Gonzalez and Crawford, as well as the pending addition of one or two relievers, will undoubtedly make the Red Sox the prohibitive favorites in the AL East heading into the 2011 season—even if the Yankees land southpaw Cliff Lee.

Red Sox Nation will be in a frenzy! Talk about an early Christmas present…“Christmas At Fenway” will be a madhouse on Saturday!

Crawford, 29, is a four-time All-Star who hit .307 this year, setting career highs in home runs (19) and RBI (90). He also swiped 47 bases, led the AL in triples (13) and won his first Gold Glove. As recently as this afternoon, he had been rumored to be heading to Los Angeles to join close friend Torii Hunter in the Angels outfield. But that all changed late this afternoon and early this evening.

The Red Sox have simultaneously added an electric player while striking a serious blow to the offseason plans of the NY Yankees, who were rumored to be interested in signing pitcher Cliff Lee and Crawford. Red Sox Nation feared the Yankees might get both of their primary targets, but with Crawford coming to Boston and Lee weighing offers from both New York and the Texas Rangers; it now seems possible the Evil Empire will get neither.


With this deal, Crawford becomes the highest-paid outfielder in baseball history…he will earn $16 million more over seven years than Jayson Werth, who signed a contract last week with the Washington Nationals. Crawford’s contract reportedly includes a partial no-trade protection.

He is generally considered the best defensive left fielder in the game and his ability to cover ground within the small spaces of Fenway Park was something the Red Sox prized as well. Last month, manager Terry Francona called Crawford a “game changer,” saying, “He’s that guy that can change a game defensively, offensively. When he gets on base, he gives you a headache.”

Somehow, I have a feeling Hank Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman have a SERIOUS migraine headache of their own right about now. Isn’t it delightful?


The Largest Contracts in MLB History

Alex Rodriguez, $275 million

Alex Rodriguez, $252 million

Derek Jeter, $189 million

Joe Mauer, $184 million

Mark Teixeira, $180 million

CC Sabathia, $161 million

Manny Ramirez, $160 million

Troy Tulowitzki, $157.75 million

Miguel Cabrera, $152.3 million

Carl Crawford, $142 million

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