Just to start this with a disclaimer, I have been a Sox fan all my life. I suffered thru '75, wanted to cry in '78, watched Yaz retire in '83 and I still have that on videotape somewhere, nearly went postal in '86, lived thru the Lou Gorman years and so forth.
I don't like what is happening in the AL East right now. It isn't good for baseball. For years, the Yankees game has been, "No one gets a player we want, we just outbid you", and while the wrong thing for the game, it was an accepted practice. No longer is this the only game in town. With the signing of Crawford last night, the Sox have decided that they aren't going to let the Yankees just do that anymore. Crawford was considered "Plan B" for the Yankees if they didn't get Cliff Lee, who has to be smiling somewhere right now. Plan B is gone, so now they'll bid more for Plan A.
As a side note, the Sox were one of the teams with a 7 year offer for Lee, but was at less annual dollars than the 6 year offers out there.
The overall problem though is that there are 2 teams in one category and the rest in a secondary category. Baltimore was mathematically eliminated last night in the AL East. They have no hope, some self-inflicted, but a lot having to do with the fact that they can't keep up. Same for Toronto. Tampa has young talent, but their talent gets too expensive when they are up for new contracts.
Overall though, it isn't healthy for the sport, as a whole. This may be the nail that drives baseball to a salary cap, because the tax threshold is $170,000,000 and even the Sox with the signings of Gonzalez and Crawford will be under that. Other teams are being forced to fight for scraps and then the scraps get priced like filet mignon.
There are a ton of other owners who are just shaking their heads right now. Teams like Boston can make signings like this and if they don't work out, they just move on to the next one. For most teams in baseball though, if this signing didn't work, they are doomed for years. The Nationals are going to find out about this with Werth.
For those who think that this may just be a 1 year thing from the Sox, think again. They have over $50,000,000 coming off the books next year as well.