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Ben Cherington explains what the Red Sox knew about Carl Crawford’s wrist

03.29.12 at 2:32 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. ‘€“ Carl Crawford told WEEI.com that he had been dealing with his wrist pain for ‘€œfour or five years.’€ His former manager with the Rays, Joe Maddon, confirmed earlier this week that the Tampa Bay organization was aware of the issue, although surgery never was broached.

Thursday, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington explained to WEEI.com the process that went behind analyzing Crawford’€™s injury heading into the outfielder signing a seven-year, $142 million deal, and what the Sox were aware of:

When we were pursuing Carl as a free agent, we knew he had intermediate wrist soreness in his time in Tampa. He had been a very, very good player over a number of years with Tampa. Then as we got closer to a deal we got access to more information as part of the entrance physical for the contract. Before we got the official contract done, we had access to everything that had happened. We did a risk assessment with him, like we would with any other player. Then we felt, based on what we knew, that this was a risk that was worth taking, that we were comfortable with.

We knew there were going to be things that had to be managed over time, as with any player that has had some symptoms, we were not ruling out at some point in the terms of the contract he would have to have something done. We factored all that in and made the decision to go forward.

We felt confident we could help him manage it. At some point if something had to be done he would recover from it. The issues he was having were things that he could either play with, or manage, or get past if something had to happen, if a procedure had to happen. When he developed soreness this winter, it was obviously not the news we were hoping for. It wasn’€™t ideal, but certainly the timing was better than the last week in March. So we weren’€™t entirely surprised by it. We weren’€™t happy about it, but not entirely surprised by it.

It was one of the possibilities we were aware of at the time we signed him. And we still feel the same way, that he will recover from this and be back to being a very good player.

A lot of players have pathology in different joints. Pitchers, position players ‘€¦ you do a lot of things in baseball the body is not designed to do. For a pitcher that usually involves a shoulder or elbow. A lot of guys are pitching very well with shoulders or elbows that aren’€™t perfect. It’€™s the same thing for position players. The hitting causes a lot of strain on the wrist and the hands. There are a lot of major league hitters whose wrists and hands don’€™t look perfect. It’€™s just a matter of managing it, and at some point sometimes you have to treat it a little more aggressively, and that was the case this winter with Carl.

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