Two years ago, the Yankees were definitely NOT in on Mark Teixeira. Definitely not. They wanted pitching, pitching, pitching and after signing CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, Brian Cashman was supposed to be done.
Except he wasn’t. He swooped in, completed a recruitment that he’d started much earlier in the winter and landed Teixeira, snagging him away from the Red Sox who thought – once again – they were on the verge of landing a big time player only to see him head to New York.
Could the same thing happen with Carl Crawford?
Although the Yankees are (again) focusing on pitching winter, they have reached out to Crawford’s agent. Most people think Crawford will end up in either Anaheim or – and here we go again – Boston, and I have to admit I think Anaheim, in particular, is a great fit. The Angels have a history of paying top dollar for outfielders and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them pull off a big-money deal with Crawford pretty quickly. But I also wouldn’t be shocked if the Yankees were in play for Crawford, too.
Look, we all know that Crawford is a great player. The question is, do the Yankees need him to put themselves in position to the World Series? I don’t think so. I’ll be the first to admit that I was wrong about Brett Gardner before last season, saying I didn’t believe he was going to be a solid everyday outfielder; obviously I was way off on that.
And while Crawford is absolutely a better player than Gardner, I’m not so sure he’s $18-20 million better. The Yankees have a lot of guys on their team who are going to be overpaid – starting with Derek Jeter, who will surely be overpaid whatever contract he signs. Gardner, for what he gives, is one of those players that is underpaid (Phil Hughes is another). Having players like is an important offset for the big-money stars. In my opinion, replacing Gardner with Crawford is an upgrade but not one that’s going to be worth the price.
Could it happen? I don’t think it’s likely. But as we learned with Teixeira, when it comes to the Yankees you can never say never.
* That’s an AP shot of Crawford.