Bad news this week for Carl Crawford. He's out at least another three months with an elbow injury rehab. The Red Sox hope to get him back in mid-July. If that comes to pass he'll be available for about 11 weeks this year, or roughly 40% of the season.
So, what do you do with guys like this? Crawford was supposed to have a bounceback season this year after a big dip in 2011. A wrist injury limited him in the Spring and brought down his draft-day cost considerably. He was to return in early May.
I took him with the first pick of the 7th round in my AL-Only Expert League, and now I'm wondering what to do with him. That seemed like fantastic value at the time... I mean, you gotta figure that the 7th round in an AL-Only is akin to around the 12th or 13th round in a mixed league. Great value there, right? Even with the wrist injury and the down year last year? Sure, but not with the elbow injury, too.
What to do, what to do... In a 10-team or 12-team mixed league you can probably go ahead and cut a guy like this unless you don't have a better option for your DL slot (or you don't have a DL slot). In a deeper league or AL-Only you pretty much have to hold on.
My AL-Only league only has 5 bench spots and no DL slot... plus I've got Brett Gardner and Lonnie Chisenhall and just picked up Zach Britton. Gah! If I could trade him for 50 cents on the dollar I would do it. Maybe 25 cents on the dollar. What sort of player does that represent in AL-Only? Hmm, I would think I'd have a fair chance to get a player like Jeff Francoeur or David Murphy.
So, since we're about 10% of the way into the season the question becomes, "Is 50% of the year with someone like Clete Thomas and hopefully 40% of the year with Carl Crawford better than 90% of the year with Jeff Francoeur?" Man, I have got to think that it is actually better to hold on to Crawford and hope for the best.
The hidden catch in that equation though, is that Thomas and Crawford take up two bench spots and Francoeur only requires one. That leaves a spot to fish for saves with another setup guy or stash another utility infielder.
Your mileage may vary, but the point here is to take everything into consideration and not to just dump a commodity like Crawford for nothing.
Of course, if you don't currently own Crawford the reverse situation may be true as well... Today might be a great time to make a lowball offer for Crawford.
Heck, maybe they'll take Endy Chavez straight up?