This past offseason the Yankees entire focus was on signing Cliff Lee which obviously they failed to do. All along though the Yankees kept in touch with then free agent Carl Crawford and GM Brian Cashman even went so far as to have dinner with him.
He seemed like their Plan B at the time. If they failed to sign Lee they would target Crawford instead. However, Cashman recently told ESPN New York that he never intended on signing the former All-Star and instead only strung him along to drive up his price tag which ended up being seven-years and $140 million.
“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 in Brett Gardner, except he costs more than $100 million less, with less experience.’ “
Cashman is a smart man whom I often refer to as a ninja. That’s because he does this stuff all of the time. Gardner has flat out had a better season than Crawford, but Cashman was able to bluff his way into getting the Red Sox to way overpay for him.
That’s not to say he can’t rebound next season, but the Sox don’t like paying him $20 million now and there is a good chance that they’ll still regret it at the end of the deal.