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Saturday October 9, 2010 11:15 pm

Carl Crawford extends time in Tampa with long ball




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB, Rumors,

Carl CrawfordCarl Crawford will play at least one more game as a Ray. Thanks to an insurance home run in the top of the 9th in Game 3 of his team’s series against Texas, Tampa Bay staved off elimination and will live to play on Sunday. It seems right now that any game could be Crawford’s last in Tampa as he’ll test free agency this offseason and look for a team that can not only help him win a World Series, but pay him what he feels he’s worth to do so.

Crawford has spent his entire nine-year career with the (Devil) Rays and now, at age 28, he’s ready to go where the money is. He made $10 million this past season with Tampa Bay, but that will probably be just a fraction of what he’ll be offered for the next five or six years. A career batting average of .296 with 409 stolen bases, 105 triples and 104 home runs will earn him every penny he makes.

Almost every team in the league will be in on the Crawford Sweepstakes, including division rivals in New York, Boston and Toronto. Chances are he’ll quickly say “thanks but no thanks” to teams who aren’t at Tampa Bay’s level – and there aren’t many of those right now. His most speculated destination is New York, where not only are the Yankees among the best in baseball, but they also have the money to back it up.

Then again, maybe Crawford just wants to get out of the AL East. After playing a third of each season against some of the toughest teams in baseball, he may want to take his talents to the AL Central or West. Or maybe he’ll want to try the National League where they play a faster, smarter brand of baseball; a style directly suited to Crawford’s abilities. Regardless where his ends up, his departure will signal the beginning of the end of a fantastic time to be a Tampa Bay Rays fan.

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