Carl Crawford earned $20 million last season and, let's be honest for a moment, was terrible.
Carl Crawford's going to earn $20 million this season, hasn't played yet, and isn't going to play soon.
Crawford's been out all month with an amorphous elbow injury, but it's amorphous no more:
BREAKING: @RedSox announce OF Carl Crawford has UCL sprain in left elbow and will be shut down from baseball activity.— MLB (@MLB) April 27, 2012
Early reports suggest that Crawford will try rehab instead of surgery; even if that works (early reports suggest), he's still going to miss another two or three months. Which means, if nothing else, a great deal of playing time for recent acquisition Marlon Byrd.
Losing Crawford for a long stretch is a little different from last season, when they might actually have been better off without him (again, just being honest). But while Byrd is a suitable long-term replacement, the Red Sox' margin for error is getting smaller by the day.