Because they are highly competitive division rivals, it’s hard to imagine the Angels sending Mike Napoli to the Rangers directly, just as it was unlikely the Cubs would have wanted Mark DeRosa to wind up with the Cardinals less than a year after they traded him to the Indians. Give the Red Sox credit for taking no chances. Their $142 million deal with Carl Crawford includes a clause that prohibits any team he’s traded to from then trading him to the Yankees. They rarely give no-trade clauses, and in Crawford’s case allowed him to block trades to only two teams.
It seems hard to envision a scenario where Crawford and his $20 million a year contract would be traded and then traded again to the Yankees. That’s mostly because it seems that it would be hard to trade that contract in the first place. I suppose that if a team was motivated to land Crawford may later on end up regretting taking on so much money (i.e. the Angels are almost definitely going to regret trading for Vernon Wells). So they might be tempted to turn around and dump Crawford on the Yankees for next to nothing just to get out from under the contract.
This probably isn’t exactly a good thing for the Red Sox. If teams realize that trading for Crawford means they can’t turn around and deal him to the one team who could most easily take on that contract, it might make it even harder to trade Crawford initially than it already would be.
Either way, this is probably a moot point. Crawford has a $142 million contract that probably isn’t going to be traded anyway.