Cashman: Yankees faked interest in Crawford to drive up price for Red Sox

New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman looks on during Yankees batting practice before their MLB American League baseball game against the Chicago White Sox in New York, April 30, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Yankees GM Brian Cashman was feeling rather frank on Friday while speaking to the media, as he discussed some of the moves and non-moves (Carl Crawford) he made last offseason.

From ESPN:

“I actually had dinner with the agent to pretend that we were actually involved and drive the price up,” Cashman said. “The outfield wasn’t an area of need, but everybody kept writing Crawford, Crawford, Crawford, Crawford. And I was like, ‘I feel like we’ve got Carl Crawford inBrett Gardner, except he costs more than $100 million less, with less experience.’ ”

Surprisingly, one could argue that Gardner has had a better season than Crawford. Gardner is batting .261 and leads the league with 46 steals. Crawford never got going in Boston and is hitting .259 with only 18 steals, the fewest he’s had since his rookie season.

Going into the season, Cashman said Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, who also landed Adrian Gonzalez, “kicked my a– in the offseason.”
How does he feel now after winning the division?

“What I said was accurate: The Red Sox had a great winter, and I had a bad winter,” Cashman said. “But as it turned out, I had a better winter than anybody would’ve expected, including myself.”

It’s hardly a genius act to fane interest in a free agent that you don’t want so that you can drive up the price for your most hated division rival. But either way, it worked as the Red Sox shelled out big coin for a player in Crawford who has given them the same production as what a Triple-A hitter could have. Plus, and this is a biggie, the Yankees are heading to the postseason after winning the AL East, while the Red Sox are doing their best to give away the Wild Card.

Of course, who knows what’s going to happen next. Things look bad for Boston now but maybe it reaches the playoffs, Crawford goes gangbusters and the BoSox will the World Series. Then all of Cashman’s talk will go for naught. The season isn’t over yet so let’s just see how everything plays out.

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