USA TODAY Sports
A reminder of the greatness of the Punto trade, Breslow isn't throwing just yet, and all you need to know about the World Baseball Classic, in infographic form
Carl Crawford was a significant part of the Nick Punto trade, as he and the five years, $102.5 million left on his deal were sent to the Dodgers. Along with just the cost, Crawford's recovery from Tommy John surgery, performed in late August, also went for the ride. Sadly for the Dodgers, they're getting an instant reminder of the complications that can arise from the procedure, as Crawford has been shut down and is expected to miss a week, with Opening Day now in question.
You have to feel for Crawford, who at this point is now two seasons removed from his poor 2011 campaign, and was only able to play in 31 contests last year -- maybe you don't think he'll ever be productive again, but he hasn't even had the opportunity to try and fail at that yet. There is a very good chance Crawford comes back healthy eventually and produces as he was expected to back when he signed his seven-year pact with Boston originally, but this is a reminder of why it's a good thing it's no longer Boston's question to answer. And that's without considering everything else the Red Sox were able to send west, as well as what was brought back east. Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa say hi.
As for news involving players who Boston traded for last season, Craig Breslow is yet to throw this spring due to shoulder weakness. However, the left-handed reliever is expected to begin a throwing program on Saturday, giving him roughly a month to get ready for the Sox' first game of the year on April 1. Breslow supposedly only needs to make eight-to-10 appearances to be ready to go for the season, and with a couple of Red Sox arms over in the World Baseball Classic, maybe the opportunities will open up enough to get him there in time.
Breslow is an important piece in the Boston bullpen, as the extension he signed earlier this off-season shows. He, along with Andrew Miller and Franklin Morales, are the lefties for the bullpen. However, Miller might not even make the team given just seven spots exist in the pen, and Morales could end up starting in-season if there are injuries in the rotation. That makes Breslow a key piece, and one the Red Sox will take their time with this spring. It's too far out to know or even guess as to whether or not Breslow might need a disabled list trip to begin the year, but if it comes to that, the Sox would surely go down that route to protect his shoulder.
The award for world's longest infographic goes to the MLBPA, which sent over this "nine inning" graphic displaying everything you need to know (and probably some things you didn't) about the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Just click to embiggen, or check it out at the World Baseball Classic site.