The former All-Star would be Boston's left fielder until close to the end of the decade, providing power and speed in a lineup that also boasted Jacoby Ellsbury, Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia.
But after a poor 2011, and a 2012 that never saw Ellsbury, Gonzalez, Ortiz and Pedroia — much less Crawford — playing together due to injury, the opportunity for Crawford to pick up his big contract and play it out elsewhere has left him feeling even better.
Crawford was introduced by the Los Angeles Dodgers for the first time on Friday. He had been traded to L.A. in August with Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto, but he spent the months since the pivotal move rehabbing from the Tommy John surgery that ended his injury-shortened 2012 season. On Friday, Crawford was finally able to turn the page — and was happy to do it.
"There's no secret this was a tough year in Boston," he said, according to ESPNBoston.com. "It's one of those things I wouldn't want any player to go through, so for me to be able to get out of that situation is definitely a relief.
"I won't have to go through all the stress and stuff every day that they were putting us through."
Crawford was most likely referring not only to the rocky time the Red Sox had under now-deposed manager Bobby Valentine but also his first year, when he felt he wasn't treated well by manager Terry Francona. Crawford has also had hard words about the Boston fans, saying he was pretty much expected to play injured to fulfill his big contract.
Now he can leave behind all that pressure, whatever the source — something equally relieved Red Sox fans are also looking forward to.