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Olney: Crawford was Sox priority all along

In the video above, ESPN’s Buster Olney, John Kruk and Karl Ravech checked in from the winter meetings to discuss the news of the day: The Red Sox landing Carl Crawford.

* Olney’s take: “It’s a huge pickup. To me right now the Red Sox are the team to beat in baseball. When you think about what he does from them defensively, offensively, a shutdown leftfielder. The front four in their lineup could be Dustin Pedroia, Crawford, Youkilis and Adrian Gonzalez. That is unbelievable.”

* Kruk’s take: “I agree with Buster, they are the team to beat. ... Cliff Lee’s agent right now is doing cartwheels. The money is going to be up [from the Yankees] because they’re going to need another lefthanded pitcher to combat all the lefties in the Red Sox lineup."

* More from Olney: “He was their priority I think this entire offseason, whether or not they got Adrian Gonzalez. When they met with him and they did the recruiting to him, basically what they told him was ‘We want you to come over here and be part of an incredible clubhouse of grinders.’ With Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youklis and Crawford is that type of player, guys that care about every pitch, every at bat, every game. That’s going to be a remarkable weapon for this team.”

Read more of Olney's take on Crawford adding to the grinder mentality in the Sox clubhouse here (Insider).

Olney was also on the Mike & Mike show on ESPN Radio this morning. Listen to the interview here.

* Ravech said he spoke with Pedroia this morning on vacation and relayed that the Red Sox second baseman was excited about the addition of Crawford.