Word has it that free agent outfielder Carl Crawford is seeking an eight-year contract. He's probably not going to get a deal quite that long, but he's still drawing significant interest, and in fact he and his representatives have recently been meeting with the Red Sox in Houston in an effort to size each other up and maybe hammer out an offer.
The Red Sox' current owners have never given out a bigger contract to a position player than the five-year, $70 million deal they gave to J.D. Drew, and while Crawford is in his physical peak, the Red Sox won't feel compelled to pay him for most of the next decade. Yet they can probably outspend the Angels - Crawford's other top suitor - and provided nobody else comes offering eight years, that demand shouldn't be much of a stumbling block.
If the Red Sox are able to sign Crawford, he will give them an enormous boost as they aim to return to the playoffs. In the event that they miss, it's probable they'll turn their attention to free agent outfielder Jayson Werth.