Carl Crawford To Draw Interest From Red Sox, Angels As Free Agent

Outfielder Carl Crawford spent a long time in Tampa Bay. Drafted in 1999, he made his Major League debut in 2002 and stuck around for nine years, amassing 1,480 hits and 409 stolen bases. He developed into one of the league's top all-around outfielders and played a critical role in the Rays' playoff runs in 2008 and 2010.

However, a long-term contract that Crawford signed with the Rays in April of 2005 has expired, and the 29 year old is now a free agent. And he's not just a free agent - he's arguably the top free agent position player on the market.

As such, Crawford is sure to command a lot of interest, and the teams at the top of the list are the Red Sox and Angels. The Red Sox have money to spend and a desire to land an impact player following disappointing showings by Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury. And the Angels also have money to spend, and a hole in the lineup left by the departing Hideki Matsui. By shifting Bobby Abreu to DH, they would have an opening in the outfield.

Other teams that may show significant interest are the Tigers and the Giants. One team that isn't likely to get caught up in the bidding, though, is the Yankees, as they're content with the development of Brett Gardner and are focused on looking for pitching. The situation with the Yankees could always change at the drop of a hat, but for the time being, it doesn't look like they'll be involved.

Crawford has batted .297 over the past three years, with 132 steals, a .454 slugging percentage, and phenomenal defense.

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