Two reasons the Yankees seem unlikely to pursue Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth: Money and at-bats.
One reason the Yankees will still be connected to Crawford and Werth: They’re the Yankees.
It’s hard to blame anyone for making the connection. The Yankees have a more-than-capable outfield, and they don’t seem to have enough money to pursue a marquee free agent beyond Cliff Lee, but it’s easy to look back just two years and remember that the Yankees seemed out of the running for Mark Teixeira before he signed an eight-year deal.
In response to today’s Daily News story, the good people over at MLBTradeRumors made that exact connection, writing that the Yankees shouldn’t be ruled out on Crawford or Werth until both outfielders are off the market. Fair enough. The Yankees could be waiting in the weeds with plans no one else is expecting.
But this isn’t 2008.
When the Yankees made their huge splash two years ago, they had Jason Giambi, Bobby Abreu, Mike Mussina and Carl Pavano coming off the books. Not only that, they had Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Xavier Nady coming off the books in 2009, leaving them free to work CC Sabathia’s contract so that it jumped considerably from ’09 to ’10. Teixeira’s contract also got slightly more expensive from ’10 to ’11.
This year, the Yankees have only two $5-million plus contracts coming off the books — not counting the guys likely to re-sign — and next year they’re only losing Jorge Posada (plus there are club options on Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher).
They’re not in the same financial situation as two years ago. They also don’t have the same sort of lineup hole that made Teixeira such a nice fit.
Associated Press photo