The practice of pretending you are interested in a free agent simply to force the competition to pay more for them is nothing new for MLB general managers. That type of thing happens all the time and is an inherent part of the off-season schedule. However, a GM beating their chest about it does not happen that frequently.
As we all know and Carl Crawford recently acknowledged, the Red Sox’s biggest free agent acquisition since Manny Ramirez has been a year one bust. Nobody expected Crawford to be hitting .259 with only 11 homers and 55 RBI with a handful of games remaining in the season. With the way Brian Cashman is talking, you might expect him to claim he knew this would happen.
“I actually had dinner with the agent to pretend that we were actually involved and drive the price up,” Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com on Friday. “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.’”
You’re the man, Brian. As Hardball Talk pointed out, this is an extremely easy statement for Cashman to make at the end of a horrific season from Crawford. If he were hitting .320 and in the hunt for A.L. MVP, would the Yankees GM be boasting about faking interest? Chances are he would say something along the lines of, “we did our due diligence on Crawford and it just didn’t work out.” Driving up the price is all part of the game during the off-season, but bragging about it doesn’t make you look any wiser after a guy flops.Google+