[Brian Cashman] had dinner with [Carl Crawford’s] agents on Tuesday, which was a bluff and was probably designed to get the Red Sox to inflate their offer to the leftfielder. The Yankees never made an offer to Crawford, and Cashman conceded that the Yankees weren’t interested in signing him. The Red Sox made an offer to Mariano Rivera, who the Yankees then signed quickly, and they also made a seven-year offer to Lee. Cashman might have been returning the favor by feigning interest in Crawford.
The Yankees and Red Sox are definitely back at it after the rivalry cooled off for the past couple of years. It started with the offer to Rivera, there is this business with Crawford, the Yankees taking Daniel Turpen in the Rule 5 draft, and now they are fighting over catcher Russell Martin.
The Yankees never wanted Crawford. They have three outfielders – Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, and Nick Swisher – who are under contract for $18 million combined. Or at least $2 million less than Crawford will get all by himself. So maybe the Yankees bluff at least appears like it worked. Considering the Angels were only bidding about $100 million, or $40 million less, it probably did work.