This is probably the saddest case of former Cardinals. Allen Craig simply isn’t Allen Craig anymore, and the Cardinals absolutely fleeced the the Red Sox in the deal that sent him and Joe Kelly to Boston for John Lackey and Corey Littrell. Craig has had it rough, he simply hasn’t been able to reproduce the numbers he put up for the Cardinals in 2011-2013. He hasn’t had the power he once had, and has been nothing short of a disappointment.
Craig was outrighted from the team in the fall, and not one team wanted to relieve the Red Sox of the contract. Now, off of the 40 Man Roster and not guaranteed a spot with Boston, Craig is hoping to rekindle his old self this season, and is vying for a spot as a backup to Hanley Ramirez at first base. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe has an interesting story on the situation that Craig is in.
Cafardo mentions that Craig was a beast with the Cardinals, an all-star and a prodigious run driving in machine. However, things simply haven’t been the same in Boston, as Craig has struggled since the trade and has found himself on the outside looking in on the Red Sox roster. However, he is owed a total of $20 Million the next two seasons, so the Red Sox have to see what he has got in the tank.
When asked if he thinks he can turn the corner in 2016 Craig said, “Absolutely, I can be what I’ve been,” he said. “It wasn’t that long ago. I’m trying to get ready for my season. I’m not going to put any added pressure on myself. I’d just going to do what I can do to get ready for the season, and whatever happens, happens. But when I step into the box now, I feel like I’m healthy again with my foot and my legs, and I think that’s given me the confidence to move forward and leave the past couple of years behind.” This is good to hear, as it isn’t fun to see Craig languishing away in Pawtucket.
In speaking about the frustration about being in Pawtucket, Craig told Cafardo this, “there was a lot of it, but I realized I had to move on from it and I did. I’m in a better place mentally. I’ve gone through it and I’m coming out the other side and I feel good. I’ve had people who supported me for sure and I appreciate that. Baseball is a tough game, and this whole deal feels like it’s happened so quickly. I feel healthy now, and that’s the most important thing for me as I live in the present and look ahead.”
While it is nice that the Cardinals aren’t dealing with Craig’s frustrating performance, it is unfortunate to see him struggle, and I hope he has a much better 2016 and rekindles a little of what he did for the Cardinals.
Next: The other side of the Lackey trade