Cashman: We Tried To Drive Crawford’s Price Up

When the Yankees wined and dined Carl Crawford during last December's winter meetings, most assumed he was their backup plan to Cliff Lee. Crawford agreed to a deal with the Red Sox before the end of the meetings and Lee eventually went back to the Phillies, but GM Brian Cashman told ESPN New York he was never really interested in signing the outfielder in the first place…

"I actually had dinner with the agent to pretend that we were actually involved and drive the price up," said Cashman. "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.'"

Interestingly enough, Crawford said he didn't believe the Yankees were serious about signing him back in March. "If the Yankees want somebody they go out and get them, don't they?," he asked, and aside from Lee, he's generally correct. Crawford is hitting .259/.295/.410 with only 18 steals in the first year of his seven-year, $142MM contract. Gardner, on the other hand, is hitting .261/.347/.374 with an AL leading 46 stolen bases. He also leads all players in UZR (regardless of position) for the second straight year, and will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter.

Within the same ESPN NY piece, Cashman acknowledged that his offseason moves turned out better than expected. "What I said was accurate: The Red Sox had a great winter, and I had a bad winter," he said. "But as it turned out, I had a better winter than anybody would've expected, including myself." Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia have combined for a 3.90 ERA in one out shy of 300 innings, the main reasons Cashman's offseason was surprisingly successful.


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167 Comments on "Cashman: We Tried To Drive Crawford’s Price Up"


Member
Devern Hansack
3 years 9 months ago

Congrats, Cashman, for doing something GMs are supposed to do.

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Yeah, having more money than any other team and still not winning the world series as often as you should have. Let’s see him manage a team where they don’t hand out blank checks. He’s “Smithers”…

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

U mad bro?

Member
ultimate913
3 years 9 months ago

He mad.

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

I guess you missed all the small signing he did last winter, just has if he was managing a small budget team.

Member
3 years 9 months ago

Really! Vincent’s post would be kinda incredible anyway — it’s doubly so when it appears directly underneath a story whose main point is that Cash signed Colon and Garcia for peanuts and got three-hundred outs of sub-4.00ERA pitching from them.

Member
East Coast Bias
3 years 9 months ago

Let’s face it – he got lucky. But at least he did his due diligence and signed a multitude of players from which perhaps one or two would pitch well enough to help out the team.

This may have been one of the most well played off seasons from B. Cash I have seen. It’s pretty easy to sign the Sabathias and Teixeiras with the Yankee checkbook, but what he did this past offseason (signing all the pitchers in case one works out, NOT trading Montero or Nova or Banuelos or Betances, other small signings) really elevates his game.

Sadly, all this will be lost on the haters who only bash Cash for the $ he spends.

Member
oz10
3 years 9 months ago

He got lucky and had to become a GM for a change because his prize target in Lee said no to the blank check.

Member
ironnat
3 years 9 months ago

Even a blind dog finds a couple of bones once in awhile.

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Somebody needs a Hug…. Don’t worry, Theo Epstein is on his way…

Member
Cotes56
3 years 9 months ago

Driving up the price on crawford? Smart move. Admitting to it? Dumb move.

Member
yankswin28
3 years 9 months ago

How is it dumb?

Member
Cotes56
3 years 9 months ago

Because you lose credibility with free agents, who don’t want to be used in this way and may feel slighted and more importantly you lose credibility with other teams. Next time the Red Sox will be more hesitant to believe the Yanks faux interest. Ultimately I don’t think it’s a major issue, but this is the kind of thing you should play close to your chest.

Member
yankswin28
3 years 9 months ago

This is old news to begin with. Cashman told Jack Curry this in March.

Member
jjs91
3 years 9 months ago

“who don’t want to be used in this way and may feel slighted” all players want to be used this way, it helps them get more money.

Member
0bsessions
3 years 9 months ago

Unless the team you’re driving the price up on is someone who DOESN’T have the far and away highest payroll in American sports. What if his ploy backfires and the Sox and Angels outright back off on Crawford because they feel the price is too high (Ala the Teixeira negotiations). If it comes to that, Cashman’s got two choices, either overpay for someone he professes he doesn’t really need to begin with OR put himself in a very bad position for future free agent negotiations.

Member
East Coast Bias
3 years 9 months ago

Does it, though? I think every agent is totally okay with an audience with Cashman during free agency. It only helps drive the price up. That’s why everyone wants to get the Yanks and Sox involved.

Cashman is shrewd enough to not sign Crawford, or any other player in your scenario that he doesn’t really want. UNLESS the price comes WAY down and it is a risk worth stomaching.

Member
3 years 9 months ago

Another possibility that Obsessions is overlooking is that if the Sox and Angels had balked at the driven-up price of Crawford, Cash could’ve signed him for an amount that made his lower level of interest in him a non-factor. Yes, we had Gardner and Granderson and Siwsh, and to that extent we didn’t have to “be interested” in Crawford, but for the right price I’m sure Cash would *also* have signed him, which is exactly what the price would’ve been if the Sox and Angels had flinched, because nobody else was bidding.

Member
YanksFanSince78
3 years 9 months ago

Literally, all he did was have dinner with him. I heard zero about him offering Crawford a contract.

Member
YanksFanSince78
3 years 9 months ago

and having the “COLLECTIVE” highest payroll in sports has nothing to do with handing out a $140 mil deal that has been trumped by many other teams already. 

Member
YanksFanSince78
3 years 9 months ago

Haha…I would not be shocked if Crawford asked Cashman out to dinner and sent a limo to pick him up and then texted messaged every sportswriter he had in his BB to tell them about it. 

Member
Sniderlover
3 years 9 months ago

If anything, shouldn’t the free agents be happy someone is driving their price up? That’s why they are free agents, they want money. 

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Pretty sure that Cashman knows what he is doing better than you

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Lose Credibility with free agents? Really?

-Which agent doesn’t wanna rise the price of his player up? That’s the reason they create bidding wars….  You can expect a dinner with Dan Lozano [Pujol’s Agent] and Boras [Fielder’s Agent] this winter.
-Next time the Red Sox [and other teams] won’t know for sure if the Yankees are In or Not, way I see it; that’s an advantage.

Member
notsureifsrs
3 years 9 months ago

yea, this is a brand new tactic

Member
Bombastic_Dave
3 years 9 months ago

It’ll make other agents they want to court in the future suspicious of their motives.  And any player that values honesty will have another reason not to want to associate with the Yankees organization.

Member
yankswin28
3 years 9 months ago

Right, because players don’t want to come to the Yankees.

LOL

Member
Bombastic_Dave
3 years 9 months ago

Lee didn’t.

Member
MikhelB
3 years 9 months ago

Lee wanted to, but once he hit free agency his main objective was to get more money in the short term, though even if his motives were suspicious, we know that once his current contract runs out he’ll be unable to sign for a high amount of money since he’ll be almost retired.

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Wait what? he’s only getting 11 millin this year, Phillies want to avoid the luxury task so they backloaded him.

Member
East Coast Bias
3 years 9 months ago

Yes but the Phillies offered him a higher salary per year than the Yankees. Do the math.

Member
3 years 9 months ago

Amen — seems like a bizarre argument to me, at least, that a player won’t in the future want to have dinner with Brian Cashman, on the fear that Cashman might elevate the player’s eventual price with some other team.

Member
Rays_Sox
3 years 9 months ago

That’s not how the luxury tax works. It is the AAV of the deal that’s is used for luxury tax purposes, not the actual amount earned per year. 

Member
MaineSox
3 years 9 months ago

I’m honestly surprised that no one else caught that (myself included).

Member
moondog45
3 years 9 months ago

I don’t think that’s the case.

Member
MaineSox
3 years 9 months ago

It is

Member
MattCMoore
3 years 9 months ago

Players were fans once too. I know that if I was a major league player I wouldnt sign with the yankees no matter how much they were willing to pay.

Member
NathanielS
3 years 9 months ago

Principles fade when someone waggles 100 Million dollars in your face.

Member
YanksFanSince78
3 years 9 months ago

So if you grew up as a Pirates fan when you were kid and now in 2012 you’re a free agent are you really not going to sign with a team that gives you a great chance at winning and will pay you a more than fair salary (insert the Yanks, Sox, whoever in this spot)? C’mon dude.  

Member
jjs91
3 years 9 months ago

It’s the agents that make the effort to be connected to the yankees and really every team in the first place. 

Member
MikhelB
3 years 9 months ago

Not EVERY team in first place, you won’t see agents trying to unload players on Tampa Bay (2010 AL East champion), or in San Diego (whom leaded the NL West for most of the year in 2009), because those teams don’t spend as much.

Member
YanksFanSince78
3 years 9 months ago

Yeah because the Lord knows the Yanks DON’T sign $100 mil players and why in the world would a free agent want the mighty Yanks rumored to be involved in a deal anyway right?

Please stop acting as  if Cash gave him a contract and prayed someone outbid him. I would imagine that just about every GM will sit and have a meeting with one of the top free agents during the winter meetings except for 7 or 8 teams that no one would ever take serious. it’s called due diligence, kicking the tires…..or just having lunch with someone you may have a relationship with from prior experiences.

Theo met with Sabathia and no one seriously thought they were interested.

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

everyone does it, and it looks pretty damn smart now from the Yanks perspective

Member
yankswin28
3 years 9 months ago

Crawford being the highest paid outfielder in history is an absolute joke.

His career numbers are garbage compared to that contract.

Member
MaineSox
3 years 9 months ago

Crawford isn’t the highest paid outfielder in history.

Member
yankswin28
3 years 9 months ago

By dollar amount, yes he is.

Not by AAV.

Member
MaineSox
3 years 9 months ago

No, he’s not.  Manny got $160 Mil: 160 > 142.

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Let me check your math on that………..Yep that’s what I got.

Member
MaineSox
3 years 9 months ago

Thanks for checking me on that, I was a little unsure of myself.

Member
East Coast Bias
3 years 9 months ago

hahaha you guys are clowns

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Na uh.

Member
MaineSox
3 years 9 months ago

..

Member
YanksFanSince78
3 years 9 months ago

Ironically you were correct and wrong in the same post.

Crawford IS the highest paid OF in terms of average annual salary.

Crawford $142 /7 is slightly above the average $20 mil per earned by Manny.

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

The highest paid OF in history was an OF who played for the Red Sox before Carl Crawford. He didn’t do much, I can’t even remember his name.

Member
yankswin28
3 years 9 months ago

By AAV, yes, Manny had a higher contract.

But $142 over 7 is the largest dollar amount given to an outfielder.

Thanks.

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Ever heard of Vernon Wells?

Member
yankswin28
3 years 9 months ago

Yep, and his was an EMBARRASSMENT at $126 over 7.

Carl’s is $142 over 7.

You’re wrong, but keep trying sweetheart.

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Vernon makes $26,187,500 this year

Member
AmericanMovieFan
3 years 9 months ago

8 years/$160MM vs. 7 years/$142MM Carl’s average being higher is nitpicking. That $2 million is the Sox doing their cheeky little numbers game like what they did with the Dice-K $51.111MM posting fee. In my mind Manny still got the largest contract ever for an OF if you take years into account. Also, for all his faults, Manny lived up to that deal about 90% of the time.

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Of course he did, Manny was a masher over that contract.

Member
East Coast Bias
3 years 9 months ago

I read on the espn ticker that he may come back next season, serve the suspension, and play out the rest of his career. That would be awesome!

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Must have found some new PED’s that don’t show up on the tests.

Member
NomarGarciaparra
3 years 9 months ago

Manny received $160M…Crawford, $142M. I don’t have a phD in math, but I believe 160 is greater than 142.

“By AAV, yes, Manny had a higher contract.”
160/8 = 20
142/7 = 20.3

Again, no math degree, but 20.3 > 20 I believe. Can someone with a degree in math please check my work?

Member
johnsilver
3 years 9 months ago

Umm.. As Rodriquez 10/300m deal at age 31 was not a joke? jeter’s 3/50m extension was not a joke?

Shall i continue???

Member
yankswin28
3 years 9 months ago

OH I GUESS YOU MISSED WHERE I SAID OUTFIELDER!

Member
johnsilver
3 years 9 months ago

Nah, you said joke contracts also and are always starting this type of rubbish.

Stop trying to backtrack now that you have once again been called out for it.

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

A-Rod’s money was more based on him chasing the all time HR title. What record is Crawford chasing that will bring additional revenue to the Soxs?

Member
melonis_rex
3 years 9 months ago

A-Rod’s deal was still colossally dumb. 

The respite that Cashman gets on that was that A-Rod’s deal had a lot to do with Yankees ownership. 

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Cool story bro!

Member
CyYoungSuppan
3 years 9 months ago

That sneaky little devil!