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Abraham: The Red Sox have a seven-year, $142 million deal done with Carl Crawford.


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#501 Lollardfish

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 03:44 PM

Usually, an entire contract is assigned to another team -- assignment is what is discussed in the CBA. So, if Crawford is traded, I don't see what rights the Red Sox have in his contract, and his new team should be free to negotiate any change in the contract, so long as that change is approved by the Commissioner's office pursuant to art IV of the CBA. (There is a limited exception for the ARod type situation where the MLBPA attempts to assert itself in the approval process, but that is pretty thin ice and we can imagine a situation - Crawford is offered $1,000,000 -- to make that inapplicable.)

I'm left still not sure what this accomplishes.


Even if your interpretation is correct, it gives enormous leverage to CC he basically gets to negotiate a whole new contract for whatever he can extract. It may not render it impossible for him to end up in New York, but surely adds some legal and financial hurdles.

It'll be interesting to see the repercussions of this innovation (assuming it is new). Will other contracts, even low-rent things like Albers or Martin, start to pop up with similar clauses.

#502 Bowlerman9


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Posted 15 December 2010 - 03:56 PM

It'll be interesting to see the repercussions of this innovation (assuming it is new). Will other contracts, even low-rent things like Albers or Martin, start to pop up with similar clauses.


Why would you need a clause like that in a 1 year deal?

#503 Joshv02

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 03:56 PM

Unless your interpretation of this is wrong and what has been discussed previously is correct


:D Well, right. I'm often wrong - and could be here. Usually when smart people do things, they do them for a reason - so it must accomplish something.

#504 PedroKsBambino


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Posted 15 December 2010 - 04:18 PM

I'm left still not sure what this accomplishes.


I suspect it accomplishes a lot, e.g. prevents anyone from trading him to the Yankees.

As I read it, the contract still bars a trade to the Yankees even if another team holds it. Since the Red Sox have paid bonus money under the agreement and received in return (in addition, of course, to Crawford's playing services) an agreement that he not be traded to the Yankees I'm not sure that Crawford and a subsequent team could change that clause without the Red Sox agreement to the change....which presumably would not be given. They are a beneficiary of the clause and hold a right that can't necessarily be extinguished without their consent.

Commitments between a team and a player do outlive a trade of that player and his contract. Consider, for example, the deferred payments the Sox are paying out to Manny long after he was traded. That's not a perfect analogy for a bunch of reasons, but I think we should recognize that not 'everything' is assigned---there are still residual components.

Edited by PedroKsBambino, 15 December 2010 - 04:19 PM.


#505 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 15 December 2010 - 04:30 PM

Usually, an entire contract is assigned to another team -- assignment is what is discussed in the CBA. So, if Crawford is traded, I don't see what rights the Red Sox have in his contract, and his new team should be free to negotiate any change in the contract, so long as that change is approved by the Commissioner's office pursuant to art IV of the CBA. (There is a limited exception for the ARod type situation where the MLBPA attempts to assert itself in the approval process, but that is pretty thin ice and we can imagine a situation - Crawford is offered $1,000,000 -- to make that inapplicable.)

I'm left still not sure what this accomplishes.


If the MLBPA and MLB may approve a contract with terms that are expressly not transferable such as Crawford's "nya-nya you can't have him Steinbrenner" clause, however.

Think about it in terms of deferred money -- when such a player is traded, who pays the deferred comp? The team on whose roster the player accumulated the deferred comp, of course. If the entire contract were assigned to the other team, then whoever was paying the the player when the deferred comp payments came due would theoretically be on the hook and the player wouldn't receive any of it if he had retired/unsigned. That wouldn't make any sense at all.


The Sox don't want Crawford playing for the NYY over the next seven years, even if he's not dressing in home whites at Fenway. This is a clever solution, and I'm impressed with the novelty of it.

[Edit:] What PK'sB said...

Edited by Buzzkill Pauley, 15 December 2010 - 04:31 PM.


#506 BroodsSexton

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 04:38 PM

The Sox don't want Crawford playing for the NYY over the next seven years, even if he's not dressing in home whites at Fenway. This is a clever solution, and I'm impressed with the novelty of it.

[Edit:] What PK'sB said...

Is it unprecedented for a team to have a no-trade clause? I guess this preserves the integrity of the no-trade policy from the Sox: No unilateral no-trade rights for players.

#507 BannedbyNYYFans.com

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 04:47 PM

Is it unprecedented for a team to have a no-trade clause? I guess this preserves the integrity of the no-trade policy from the Sox: No unilateral no-trade rights for players.

It's a little different but when the Packers traded Brett Favre to the Jets, they put a provision in the deal that he couldn't be flipped and re-dealt to the Vikings because they didn't want him in the division. Of course after the Jets drafted Sanchez and Favre said he was going to retire, New York released him so all bets were off at that point. But it's along the same lines.

#508 Joshv02

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 04:48 PM

Commitments between a team and a player do outlive a trade of that player and his contract. Consider, for example, the deferred payments the Sox are paying out to Manny long after he was traded. That's not a perfect analogy for a bunch of reasons, but I think we should recognize that not 'everything' is assigned---there are still residual components.


I think that is a good example of a commitment that isn't transferred - but I see that as proving the rule, so to speak. The Red Sox owe Manny money that was earned while Manny was a player for the Red Sox. They don't owe deferred compensation for money earned while Manny was a member of the Dodgers. Manny earned a salary during his playing time with the Red Sox, and that right to this money accrued while he was an employee of the Sox. The only issue is in the timing of payment. Here, we are talking about a right that continues on - the Sox would be claiming that Crawford could not be traded to the Yankees even when Crawford is not an employee of the Sox. It would be as if the Red Sox had a continuing obligation to pay deferred compensation for money earned by Manny while Manny was a member of the Dodgers.

It strikes me as odd to think that any aspect of a player contract wouldn't be freely assignable. I've never heard of anything like that, and I don't think deferred compensation really gets there.

But, none of us know the language, so I guess its all moot.

#509 PedroKsBambino


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Posted 15 December 2010 - 05:47 PM

I think that is a good example of a commitment that isn't transferred - but I see that as proving the rule, so to speak. The Red Sox owe Manny money that was earned while Manny was a player for the Red Sox. They don't owe deferred compensation for money earned while Manny was a member of the Dodgers. Manny earned a salary during his playing time with the Red Sox, and that right to this money accrued while he was an employee of the Sox. The only issue is in the timing of payment. Here, we are talking about a right that continues on - the Sox would be claiming that Crawford could not be traded to the Yankees even when Crawford is not an employee of the Sox. It would be as if the Red Sox had a continuing obligation to pay deferred compensation for money earned by Manny while Manny was a member of the Dodgers.

It strikes me as odd to think that any aspect of a player contract wouldn't be freely assignable. I've never heard of anything like that, and I don't think deferred compensation really gets there.

But, none of us know the language, so I guess its all moot.


As I said, there's factual differences but conceptually the deferred comp examples speaks to the idea of benefits and obligations existing (and being durable) outside of the two current parties to an agreement. It could be promised charitable commitments from either side, if you want a non-party component as well...the underlying principle is the same and would (in a scenario Crawford is traded) also be relevant.

I think what you are trying to say with 'assignability' is that you feel the entire contract (and all rights and benefits) transfer to the new team and thus, that they would be the beneficiary of the Yankee no-trade clause and thus able to void the clause. I do not think this is what is intended and would guess that the Sox lawyers have drafted it to clarify that is the case. Instead, I'd guess they have structured it so that they are (in a trade scenario) a third-party beneficiary in effect. That 'benefit' would be part of the exchange of promises in the contract and once the Sox give consideration (e.g. have paid something) becomes difficult to change without their consent, I'd expect. Temporally, the benefit the Sox receive is like the deferred comp--it becomes 'due' as soon as consideration is paid.

Agree fully that we haven't seen the language, but conceptually it holds together and there's nothing that I've read here or am aware of in the CBA that would obviously moot it. It is definitely not the case that generic contract law would prevent a residual interest for the Red Sox, though, in my mind.

#510 OCD SS


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Posted 15 December 2010 - 06:07 PM

I think reading between the lines we can assume that stance had a lot to do with being able to trade players they inherited from duquette. Mostly Manny I would presume.


I actually always assumed it was to keep Trot's "most favored nation" provision from kicking in.

#511 Joshv02

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 06:17 PM

I've probably reached the "dead horse" stage of this, but here is the relevant language from the Uniform Player Contract (schedule A to the CBA at 6(e)):

Upon and after such assignment, all rights and obligations of the assignor Club hereunder shall become the rights and obligations of the assignee Club

The Uniform Contract then gives a few exceptions (mainly to deal with issues like salary payments for salary that accrued prior to assignment [like deferral of comp], performance awards that were reached previously, etc.). The Uniform Agreement can be changed, of course, but this is the baseline - and why its so weird to think that the Red Sox deviated from that base line. But, I don't see anything in the CBA that says you can't (though, I think the CBA says that the Uniform Agreement is the minimum), and certainly you could do so under standard contract law. Would be interested to see someone like Speier write something more in-depth about this as its the first time I've seen anything like it in baseball.

#512 phrenile


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Posted 15 December 2010 - 06:25 PM

I actually always assumed it was to keep Trot's "most favored nation" provision from kicking in.

Manny had one of those, and attached to a much bigger contract.

#513 PedroKsBambino


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Posted 15 December 2010 - 08:13 PM

I've probably reached the "dead horse" stage of this, but here is the relevant language from the Uniform Player Contract (schedule A to the CBA at 6(e)):

The Uniform Contract then gives a few exceptions (mainly to deal with issues like salary payments for salary that accrued prior to assignment [like deferral of comp], performance awards that were reached previously, etc.). The Uniform Agreement can be changed, of course, but this is the baseline - and why its so weird to think that the Red Sox deviated from that base line. But, I don't see anything in the CBA that says you can't (though, I think the CBA says that the Uniform Agreement is the minimum), and certainly you could do so under standard contract law. Would be interested to see someone like Speier write something more in-depth about this as its the first time I've seen anything like it in baseball.


Again, the fact that the agreeement acknowledges that there is a category of benefit that can be realized after the contract has gone to another team is the important issue here. The fact that the CBA doesn't specifically bar it (that I am aware of, at least) is also supportive that the Sox are likely viewing this as an opportunity.

"Hasn't been done before" is not, legally speaking, remotely the same as "Can't be done" and I'm quite sure the Sox lawyers know the difference. There may be a reason they can't use the clause (or that the clause as reported in Cot's doesn't actually exist) but nothing we've seen here suggests that is the case, and background contract law would support it being an option.

#514 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 15 December 2010 - 08:25 PM

"Hasn't been done before" is not, legally speaking, remotely the same as "Can't be done" and I'm quite sure the Sox lawyers know the difference. There may be a reason they can't use the clause (or that the clause as reported in Cot's doesn't actually exist) but nothing we've seen here suggests that is the case, and background contract law would support it being an option.


Exactly -- whether or not the no-trade provision is unenforceable won't be known until the issue is forced. Until then, it will serve as a deterrent to teams trying so, if nothing less.

#515 HriniakPosterChild

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 10:12 PM

How does this impact the 'we don't give no trade clause' philosophy of [past?] Sox FO? Are there still players left on the team that have the 'I get an equivalent no trade clause to any future signees' clause in their contract?

From the player's point of view, it changes nothing: Drew had the same deal.

From Cot's line on Drew: limited no-trade clause allowing Drew to block deals to 2 clubs

#516 MentalDisabldLst


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Posted 15 December 2010 - 11:07 PM

Speaking to the general idea behind the question, this doesn't seem to me to be a NTC. Rather, in effect, it seems to me a sort of mutual veto. Any philosophical ground the FO might have lost (and they've been backtracking on that for years anyway) is more than offset by the cleverness that keeps CC out of the hands of the divisional goliath.

Even if your interpretation is correct, it gives enormous leverage to CC he basically gets to negotiate a whole new contract for whatever he can extract. It may not render it impossible for him to end up in New York, but surely adds some legal and financial hurdles.

Can we all please come to a collective agreement that "CC" is an unacceptable nickname for Carl Crawford? Given that it's, you know, the actual given name of a star player on our chief rivals? This is nearly as dumb as the whole "Ted" thing for Varitek. This is like if we signed a player named "Maurice" and start calling him "Mo". Or referring to someone who is not Lawrence Taylor as "LT". We called Coco Crisp "Coco", or other less endearing terms. We didn't call him "CC". Can we do better than this?

The guy's nickname on B-R is "The Perfect Storm", for chrissakes. Although god only knows how they came up with that one.

#517 JMDurron

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 08:37 AM

Can we all please come to a collective agreement that "CC" is an unacceptable nickname for Carl Crawford? Given that it's, you know, the actual given name of a star player on our chief rivals? This is nearly as dumb as the whole "Ted" thing for Varitek. This is like if we signed a player named "Maurice" and start calling him "Mo". Or referring to someone who is not Lawrence Taylor as "LT". We called Coco Crisp "Coco", or other less endearing terms. We didn't call him "CC". Can we do better than this?

The guy's nickname on B-R is "The Perfect Storm", for chrissakes. Although god only knows how they came up with that one.


Thank you for this. This has been bugging me for days.

Perhaps just shorthand, like "Carl" would work? It's not like we needed any special nickname for Trot Nixon. If Rays fans existed, Ex-Ray would be pretty fun to use.

#518 rembrat


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Posted 17 December 2010 - 09:25 PM

Moar sour grapes

Its crazy. I paid [$183 million] for the team [in 2003], and now were talking $142 million for one player? Seven years on a player is a huge risk financially, Moreno said in the story. [Crawfords] greatest asset is speed, and hes a very skilled athlete who would have fit perfectly in left field for us. But we didnt look at him as a power hitter in our stadium.


Why don't you cry about it some more?

#519 Mystic Merlin


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Posted 17 December 2010 - 09:29 PM

He didn't have much of a problem burning money on Gary Matthews.

#520 Rasputin


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Posted 17 December 2010 - 09:41 PM

Its crazy. I paid [$183 million] for the team [in 2003], and now were talking $142 million for one player? Seven years on a player is a huge risk financially, Moreno said in the story. [Crawfords] greatest asset is speed, and hes a very skilled athlete who would have fit perfectly in left field for us. But we didnt look at him as a power hitter in our stadium.


Learn how to value players better.

#521 mabrowndog


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Posted 22 December 2010 - 08:33 PM

What a classy move

Carl Crawford left the Rays, but he didn't want to leave a bad taste in their mouths.

So Crawford, who signed a 7-year, $142-million deal with Boston, arranged for lunch to be catered and delivered Wednesday to team employees at Tropicana Field.

There were about 150 employees on hand to enjoy the barbecue meal. Crawford, who played nine seasons with the Rays before leaving as a free agent, was not at the Trop for the lunch.



#522 BroodsSexton

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 09:18 PM

Hopefully it wasn't shipped in from Tinucci's.

#523 dbn

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 04:07 AM

What a classy move




Maybe it's the holiday season that's making me say this (no, it's the bourbon), but I love hearing stories like this about players I do, or will, cheer for.

#524 mabrowndog


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Posted 04 January 2011 - 07:38 AM

Another classy move, with a page from the Adrian Gonzalez playbook. This was in Sunday's St. Petersburg Times

Posted Image


"My time with the Rays was a special experience in my life, and I'll always cherish the memories of playing and living in Tampa Bay. Thank you for your support over the years."


If you want some entertaining reading with a double order of schadenfreude, check out some of the reader comments at tampabay.com.

#525 JMDurron

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 08:41 AM

The timing on this is a little odd. If memory serves, Adrian Gonzalez took out his ad within a week of signing in Boston. Crawford is a little late on this front, although he still gets a ton of credit from me for giving the Rays' employees a meal shortly after signing with the Sox.

It's still a nice gesture, obviously, I'm just curious about why the ad is running now, as opposed to closer to when he signed.

#526 donutogre

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 12:04 PM

Reminds me of the timing of Damon's Boston Globe page he took out in 2006.

#527 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 04 January 2011 - 12:22 PM

The timing on this is a little odd. If memory serves, Adrian Gonzalez took out his ad within a week of signing in Boston. Crawford is a little late on this front, although he still gets a ton of credit from me for giving the Rays' employees a meal shortly after signing with the Sox.

It's still a nice gesture, obviously, I'm just curious about why the ad is running now, as opposed to closer to when he signed.


Since there were only about 75 Rays fans in the stands for his first six years playing (in total), I have to say I'm not surprised Crawford gave this ad something of a lower priority.

Plus, by signing with the hated Red Sox, he's going to be booed by all 1500 Rays fans at the Trop on those road games next year, no matter the timing.

#528 mabrowndog


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Posted 04 January 2011 - 01:17 PM

Great piece from Rob Bradford today with an extensive look at Crawford's training regimen.

Crawford and [trainer Lee] Fiocchi, who was introduced to the Houston native by former major-leaguer Cliff Floyd, have been together each offseason since prior to the '09 season. The outfielder had developed a commitment to offseason excellence ever since beating himself up for poor preparation prior to 2001, routinely heading to Athletes' Performance in Arizona until making the decision to spend his winters closer to home.

The choices, and approaches, have paid off.

Now with a small army of major-leaguers (Adam Dunn, Chris Young, Michael Bourn, James Loney) joining in the fray at the Houston high school, the uneasiness of '08 once again feels foreign.


"We have a 55-yard sand pit that he was training in today and he looked as explosive as anyone on solid ground," said Fiocchi following Crawford's first workout of the new year. "He's the type of guy that never gets too far out of game-shape, and I'm talking about ANY game. That's how adaptable he is."

Crawford is unique, which isn't a newsflash for those watching his time in a Tampa Bay Rays uniform. But for Fiocchi, the reminders keep coming outside the season over four days a week for 2 1/2 hours a day.

"His blend of athleticism is as pure as anybody in terms of blending speed, strength, agility and power. That is what people automatically notice about him," the trainer said. "He makes certain things look easy. Sometimes you think he could do things better here or there, but in all honestly, I think it is the fluidity that makes things look easier. But his intensity is always 100 percent. He doesn't really lack in any area."

But perhaps what makes the whole thing click is the insistence of both Crawford and Fiocchi that they find something that is wrong.


There has been talk between the two about the differences of playing home games on a grass field instead of the artificial turf of Tropicana Field. And Crawford continues to work on tailoring his swing for Fenway Park following the sessions at Houston Christian, participating in baseball activities down the way at the "Baseball USA" training facility.

But what has really consumed the teacher and his student this offseason has been figuring out form. More specifically, the are working to discover what will make one of the game's most feared base-stealers appreciably scarier.

Their focus? Crawford's spine.

"This year we're looking at his ability to accelerate, and that is dictated by his head position," Fiocchi explained. "If you're stealing a base, your goal is to get to second base. So, naturally, after you initiate those first two or three steps, the tendency is to look up at that bag. But when you look up at that bag you're getting extension of your spine, and when you're extending your spine you have these spinal reflexes that actually activate all the muscles in your spine that causes you to pop up quicker than you should be. As you're running, the degree should be more fluid."

Simply put: When you see Crawford sprinting toward second base, head pointing toward the bag that most likely will be swiped, he's doing it for a reason. The technique represents a small but meaningful way in which the left fielder can improve.

"With Carl, that's honestly what drives him sometimes," the trainer said. "And for us, that's how we connect. I'm looking at everything as detailed as possible, so when he comes in we're ultra-focused.

"I think that what he does in the offseason is finding that flaw. It can be something said by a reporter, or a teammate. It could be anything. You never really know what grabs his attention. But whatever it is, he says, 'I'm going to do something about it.'"



#529 JimD

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 01:14 PM

The timing on this is a little odd. If memory serves, Adrian Gonzalez took out his ad within a week of signing in Boston. Crawford is a little late on this front, although he still gets a ton of credit from me for giving the Rays' employees a meal shortly after signing with the Sox.

It's still a nice gesture, obviously, I'm just curious about why the ad is running now, as opposed to closer to when he signed.


He likely knows that moving from the Rays to a hated rival is not going to go over well with many fans, so perhaps the ad was timed to run during the holidays when many fans are in a more placid mood. Im sure a lot of fans were pretty angry with him in the days right after the deal was announced.

#530 JMDurron

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 01:43 PM

He likely knows that moving from the Rays to a hated rival is not going to go over well with many fans, so perhaps the ad was timed to run during the holidays when many fans are in a more placid mood. Im sure a lot of fans were pretty angry with him in the days right after the deal was announced.


Perhaps, but the gesture strikes me as slightly more calculated when it comes more after the fact, and slightly more genuine when it happens immediately. It ultimately doesn't matter in the larger scheme of things, but I wonder how it played with the intended audience.