A week after being released by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Carl Crawford is exploring the market for his services and could return to where his MLB career began.

Continue for updates.

Rays Considering Crawford Reunion

Tuesday, June 21

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported the Tampa Bay Rays’ interest “likely will increase” if utility man Steve Pearce is “down for more than a few days.” Rosenthal noted the Rays are in need of healthy outfielders.

On Monday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times and Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports first reported the Rays would consider a reunion. 

The Rays are currently sitting in last place in the AL East and are getting almost no production from their outfield. While it’s unlikely they would bench a player like the struggling Desmond Jennings for Crawford, his path to playing time and a possible return to form isn’t as difficult as it would be on a contender.

Crawford Has Declined Since Leaving Tampa Bay

Crawford, 34, was released by the Dodgers on June 13. He was designated for assignment June 5 despite Los Angeles being on the hook for $34 million over the next two years.

“I think we just got to the point with Carl—he’s the type of guy who his entire career has worked very hard and played very hard,” said Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, per Doug Padilla of ESPN.com. “Eventually that just takes a toll on your body. We just felt like we’d gotten to the point where this made the most sense for everyone involved.”

Crawford originally signed a seven-year, $142 million contract with the Boston Red Sox in 2010. He spent just one-and-a-half years in Boston and was eventually shipped to the Dodgers in August 2012 as part of a two-way organizational overhaul. Recovering from Tommy John surgery at the time of his SoCal move, Crawford didn’t make his Dodgers debut until 2013.

For a while, the arrangement worked. Crawford never reached his Tampa heights, but he posted 2.8 and 2.6 wins above replacement in 2013 and 2014, respectively, per FanGraphs. The Dodgers traded for him mostly as a cost of doing business to acquire Adrian Gonzalez, yet he was a solid two-way player despite an obvious decline in foot speed.

Over the last season-and-a-half, Crawford’s career took a major nosedive. He was limited to 69 games in 2015 amid ineffective play and a series of injuries, and he was abysmal across his 30 games this year. At the time of his release, he was hitting .185/.230/.235 without a home run or a stolen base.

It’s also possible Crawford decides to sit out the remainder of 2016, get his body right and land a more appealing job over the winter.


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