• Cashman: I Played Sox With Crawford Dinner

    Posted by on September 24th, 2011 · Comments (8)

    Via ESPN

    New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman admitted Thursday that he feigned interest in Carl Crawford last offseason to drive up the price for the Boston Red Sox to sign the free agent.

    “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.’ ”

    The rivalry continues on the field Friday night. The Red Sox are clinging to a two-game lead over the Rays in the wild-card standings going into a three-game set in the Bronx against the AL East champion Yankees.

    It wasn’t long ago that the Yankees were looking up at the Red Sox in the standings, but Boston has slumped badly in September after leading the wild-card race by nine games, and Crawford hasn’t lived up to expectations.

    And now it turns out the Yankees didn’t even want him. They had put all of their eggs in the Cliff Lee basket this offseason, but Cashman had to scramble when the left-hander chose the Phillies.

    The GM was even ready to deal top catching prospect Jesus Montero to land Lee.

    “I wanted Lee badly enough to move Montero,” Cashman said. “You take all the players traded when Lee went from Cleveland to Philly, Philly to Seattle, and Seattle to Texas, and Montero would’ve been by far the best player moved in any of those deals.

    “But now I’m just happy fans have had a chance to get a better feel of why I was hesitant to make that deal. I’m not saying I was right in not doing that deal for Lee; that’s to be debated. But the young players we held onto have at least proven they were worthy of the angst as far as including them in a big trade.”

    Smart move by Cashman. But, why disclose it now? Nothing to gain from that – outside of trying to make yourself look good.

    Comments on Cashman: I Played Sox With Crawford Dinner

    1. Raf
      September 24th, 2011 | 10:06 am


      “Cashman had dinner with 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.”

    2. Raf
      September 24th, 2011 | 10:11 am

      FWIW, a h/t to Fangraphs where I found the link

      “This revelation isn’t actually new — Jack Curry of YES Network published the same news back in December…”

      Link to Curry piece is buried in the comments section

    3. Scout
      September 24th, 2011 | 3:18 pm

      Really, this is about as newsworthy as “dog bites man.” What a shocker: teams try to mess with other teams’ negotiating strategies.

    4. LMJ229
      September 24th, 2011 | 6:10 pm

      To me, the most interesting thing in this article is the following quote by Cashman:
      “I’m not saying I was right in not doing that deal for Lee”
      I recall Cashman being irate with the Mariners for blind-siding him when he thought he had a deal made. This makes it sound like Cashman was the one who decided not to do the deal.

    5. Evan3457
      September 24th, 2011 | 11:54 pm

      In the end, by deciding not to throw Nunez or Nova into the deal at the Mariners’ demand, Cashman was the one who DID decide not to make the deal. If he had said yes, and then the M’s had gone back to the Rangers a 3rd time to try to get them to up the ante a 2nd time, then it woudld’ve been the M’s who decided.

    6. LMJ229
      September 25th, 2011 | 12:06 am

      I had heard that Cashman didn’t want to throw Nunez into the deal but didn’t know that Nova’s name was being batted around as well. Personally, I would have done Montero and Nunez for Lee. If we could have pulled that off there’s a good chance we win the WS last year and maybe retain Lee going forward.

      In the long run, the Mariners are the fools because Montero looks like the real deal, at least offensively speaking.

    7. September 25th, 2011 | 8:35 am

      Does the Lee deal go down if Adams didn’t hurt his ankle?

    8. Raf
      September 25th, 2011 | 9:10 am

      @ Steve L.:
      Good question. IIRC, the deal was reported as done. I don’t know how bad Adams’ ankle was, but I wouldn’t have thought it enough to scuttle a trade.

      That said, I think Z preferred Smoak to Montero. By that time, Smoak already had time in the bigs, and was a 1B. Montero was still a prospect, and would still have to learn a new position if he couldn’t catch. Given the premium the M’s organization places on defense, I don’t think Montero lasts @ catcher and who knows how he’ll be @ 1B.

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