Carl Crawford designated for assignment by Dodgers

ByDoug Padilla ESPN logo
Sunday, June 5, 2016

LOS ANGELES -- Veteran outfielder Carl Crawford was designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday with approximately $35 million remaining on a contract that runs through 2017.

The Dodgers are responsible for the remainder of the guaranteed deal.

"It's one of those things where you look at the player, and Carl has had a great career, 14 years and had a lot of great moments," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "I know he was proud to be a Dodger. He will be missed. What he brought to the club in terms of experience in postseason games, the impact he had on the young players and the veteran players, the experience he brought will be missed, certainly. But it's one of those things where father time I think catches up with everybody."

With the emergence of outfielder Trayce Thompson, Crawford had received little playing time of late, even as Yasiel Puig has been dealing with a hamstring injury. On Friday, the Dodgers reinstated outfielder Scott Van Slyke from the disabled list, whileHowie Kendrick has spent significant time in left field this season.

"I think the biggest thing for us right now is going with an eight-man pen and a short bench. I think that added versatility had a lot of value for us," Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. "Just as we go through spring training and into the beginning part of the year, we're constantly evaluating our roster and looking ahead.

"I think we just got to the point with Carl -- he's the type of guy who his entire career has worked very hard and played very hard. Eventually that just takes a toll on your body. We just felt like we'd gotten to the point where this made the most sense for everyone involved."

Crawford opened the season by going on the disabled list for a back injury, and never got in sync offensively. The 34-year-old left-handed hitter was batting just .185 with a .230 on-base percentage, and had just 81 at-bats over 30 games.

In 320 games with the Dodgers since being acquired in a 2012 nine-player trade from the Boston Red Sox, Crawford batted .278 with 18 home runs and 99 RBIs.

Crawford was an offensive force over his first nine seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, hitting 104 home runs with 592 RBIs, a .296 batting average and a .444 slugging percentage. But over the next six seasons with the Red Sox and Dodgers, he hit 32 home runs with 174 RBIs, a .271 batting average and a .407 slugging percentage.

To replace Crawford on the active roster, the Dodgers recalled catcher/infielder Austin Barnes from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Barnes, who started the season on the Dodgers' Opening Day roster, was batting 306 with a .413 OBP in 37 games at Oklahoma City.

"There are guys who need opportunities to make us better and he completely understood that," Roberts said of Crawford. "As a player he's frustrated that he's not performing and his body is not firing the way it used to. And so it was a great conversation we had and he was completely understanding."