Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/27/12
LOS ANGELES -- Carl Crawford slipped his new No. 25 jersey over his head, finally having joined the Los Angeles Dodgers two months after the blockbuster trade from Boston that left him as the forgotten $100 million man. "Feels good," he said, smiling at his introduction Friday. Crawford had Tommy John surgery on his left elbow two days before the Aug. 25 trade that shook up clubhouses in two cities. The left fielder never suited up for the Dodgers and went home to Houston to rehab while new acquisitions Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett quickly made their presence felt. "Adrian was definitely one of the centerpieces of that trade," Crawford said. "I'm pretty sure once I start playing I won't be the forgotten guy." Crawford is due $102.5 million over the next five seasons. The 31-year-old hit .282 with three homers and 19 RBIs in 31 games with the Red Sox before his season-ending second surgery. He had his left wrist operated on in January. He said he's ahead of schedule in his rehab and that he's shooting to be ready by spring training. But he can't throw or swing a bat until January. "Offensively, he'll be able to hit far sooner than he'll be able to throw," general manager Ned Colletti said. "The question will be how fast his arm can come back to major league [level]. We have five months yet to have him heal." In addition to Crawford, Matt Kemp is coming off of left shoulder surgery earlier this month, leaving the Dodgers with two-thirds of their outfield in rehab mode. Colletti said he's confident that both will be up to speed by the end of spring training. Crawford is eager to make a fresh start in Los Angeles after two disappointing seasons in Boston, where he had signed a seven-year, $142 million deal. He was a four-time All-Star with Tampa Bay, where he played nine seasons. "Things didn't work out as planned in Boston," he said. "I didn't do my part. When a player doesn't do his part, usually it doesn't work out. "I'm a competitive guy, so I hate to say I failed at something. It's good to get a second chance. I'm definitely motivated to play the best baseball I can." Crawford said he should have listened to a doctor's advice to have elbow surgery earlier this year, instead of waiting until Aug. 23. "Maybe I should have took care of myself when the doctor told me to," he said. "You have surgery and you get looked at as soft or somebody just trying to take money from them. It's one of those things where you live and learn." Crawford has a .292 batting average, 118 home runs and 667 RBIs entering his 12th major league season. He led the American League in steals for four seasons in Tampa Bay. "This kid a couple years ago was one of the most highly sought after free agents in baseball. Sometimes you need a fresh start," Colletti said. "He's still a very dynamic player. His ability to create things offensively with his speed and his ability to hit is a good combination." Colletti said he remains focused on upgrading the bullpen and adding a starting pitcher. The Dodgers are still interviewing candidates for hitting coach, a job left vacant when Dave Hansen was fired earlier this month. Outfielder Yasiel Puig, who signed a $42 million, seven-year contract this summer, will play winter ball in Puerto Rico, although his prospects of making the big league roster remain unknown. He is recovering from a staph infection in the back of his right elbow. Click here to see the Wellesley mansion Crawford is trying to sell>>

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Seahawks players feel Sherman bombshell story ‘nailed it’

Report: Clippers concerned about Chris Paul leaving to sign with Spurs

Patriots to sponsor Gay Bowl in Boston this fall

Michael Irvin offers advice for Odell Beckham

Mike Golic denies report of ‘icy’ relationship with Mike Greenberg

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ricky Rubio, Timberwolves ready to move on

Ben McAdoo: ‘No accuracy’ to Victor Cruz’s sabotage claims

Chip Kelly joining ESPN in analyst role

Terry Collins addresses Mets’ gag order on player injuries

LeBron never believed he could get to Jordan’s level

Sam Mitchell reportedly candidate to join Pelicans’ coaching staff

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

It’s our civic duty to stop attending Super Bowls in new stadiums

Box Score 5/25: The Cavaliers look to close out the Celtics

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker