Sometimes, offseason acquisitions work out. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes, they are spectacular failures.
This one hurts. I have always been a big fan of Carl Crawford, even before he signed with the Red Sox. A big part of this is likely the knowledge that Crawford was once recruited to play quarterback for Nebraska. Obviously, living in Nebraska, that was a big deal.
Most of the reason this one hurts so much is because Crawford was never the player he was with the Rays. He drove Boston pitchers and catchers nuts. He was never that player with the Red Sox. He started off slow in 2011 and just could never get things going. Even parts of his game that were once strengths did not shine through. He only stole 18 bases and was caught six times. He made critical errors in the outfield, particularly one ball he dropped in the last game of the season that lead to Boston losing, and falling out of postseason contention. In 2011, he was just bad, hitting only .255/.289/.405. It was just a terrible season.
Then, in 2012 he was injured early on. He only played in 31 games for the Red Sox, hitting .282/.306/.479 before ending his season early. He had a decent attitude about things, it just did not work out.
I was looking forward to seeing Ellsbury and Crawford steal 100 bases between them. It just never happened.
Crawford was traded as part of the big White Flag trade to the Dodgers in 2012. He has yet to play for them.