Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations, and former general manager of the Boston Red Sox, Theo Epstein, told WEEI Chicago today that Red Sox owner John Henry was against the signing of Carl Crawford.
"When you own the team you can do that, and I think John is an organization-first kind of guy. Those were kind of unique circumstances," Epstein told WEEI. "The bottom line was that's right. I think John didn't want to do that one, but everyone else did in the organization. Everyone knew it wasn't perfect. You don't set out one day looking to spend that kind of money, but I think where we were, with the core the Red Sox had in place, after acquiring Adrian Gonzalez and having the top three starters, Lester, Beckett and Buchholz, under control, there was a real opportunity to kind of separate the Red Sox talent-wise from the rest of the division for the next four to five years where you would have your core in place and you would be complimenting that core with smaller free agent signings and home-grown players from the farm system."
Crawford, who signed a seven-year, $142 million deal with the club last winter, hit just .255/.289/.405 with 11 home runs and 18 stolen bases in 2011. In nine prior seasons with the Rays, Crawford had a career average of .296/.337/.444. Epstein left the Red Sox for the Chicago Cubs following a disastrous final month of the 2011 season that saw Boston slip out of the playoffs after once holding a commanding lead in the standings. Ben Cherington has since been named the new Red Sox general manager.