With the conclusion of the World Series bringing the beginning of the offseason in Major League Baseball, it's that time of year in which the hot stove is running full force. During this time, it's more likely than not that we'll see our fair share of ideas that never gain any ground. Some moves will come to fruition. Others are just far-fetched ideas thrown against a wall to see if they stick.
Today, we have one such item:
The "sources" mentioned aren't identified, but given that Fred Roggin is an actual sports anchor in Los Angeles, it's at least plausible that there is some truth to this. How serious the exploration of the deal is remains to be seen, but it's a deal that, if true, would feel at least a little disappointing.
Elvis Andrus is coming off of another sub-par offensive season, and his defense wasn't as sharp as we've come to expect in seasons past. However, with the uncertainty facing Jurickson Profar, at least in the short-term, I headed into the offseason under the assumption that, unless an offer blew the Rangers away, Elvis would still be in Arlington come Opening Day of 2015. If for no other reason than not being able to envision any team overpaying in talent or cash, it made the most sense for everyone involved for Elvis to return.
Of course, Elvis has a contract extension that kicks in for 2015, putting the Rangers on the hook for at least $15 million through at least 2018. Crawford, on the other hand, has the Dodgers on the hook for $20 million and higher per season through 2017. In other words, I can't see any trade exploration involving a straight swap of the two players.
Furthermore, while Crawford would seem to fill a need in a corner outfield spot -- albeit while creating another hole at a premium infield position -- he's one of those guys in the sport that comes with the dreaded "when healthy" tag. That health has been a deterring factor, and one that has kept Crawford from ever being able to replicate his 7.4 fWAR campaign from 2010 that ended up netting him a lucrative contract that following offseason.
Beyond just the on-field components regarding prior performance, Crawford is 33 years of age, and for a player that has, in the past, relied heavily on his speed as a tool, would figure to be a good bet to lose some of that speed over the next three seasons.
What I'm really trying to get to is this: There's no scenario I can envision in which the Rangers would even entertain a straight 1-for-1 swap of Crawford and Andrus. Now, if we start talking about the Dodgers throwing in some cash and/or starting pitching talent, then I could potentially see something a bit more workable coming to light. With that said, while I've cooled off a bit on my optimism for Elvis Andrus ever becoming much more than he is now, offensively speaking, the idea of being tied to Carl Crawford for three seasons makes my stomach turn a bit. After such an injury-filled season of historic proportions, it would seem ill-advised to bring in a walking injury, which is something Crawford has proven to be in his recent past.
When it's all said and done, this rumor very well may have no legs. Perhaps we can file it into the category of, hey, you take any phone calls you get and explore every avenue to improve your ball club, however obscure it might seem. At least, that's what I'm going to tell myself. For now.