The New York Yankees rarely sit idly by when any top player is available, so it's not much of a surprise to see reports this morning that they are talking with free-agent outfielder Carl Crawford, formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays.
ESPN's Buster Olney said they are "very much engaged in conversations" with Crawford and SI.com's Jon Heyman said they "plan to set up" a meeting and it's "possible" they could sign both Crawford and Cliff Lee.
As much as they didn't seem interested early on, it only makes sense for them to explore the possibility, whether it's to be in position if they don't sign Lee and want to quickly change plans by signing Crawford and trading for a pitcher; or whether they, somehow, could afford both Lee and Crawford (after re-signing Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter); or just to drive the price on Crawford up for the Red Sox and Angels.
Of course, it could also be the Yankees response to the Red Sox reportedly making an offer to Mariano Rivera.
Meanwhile, Boston DH David Ortiz said on WEEI radio that the Sox should go hard for Crawford:
"Besides signing Adrian [Beltre], I would go right after Carl Crawford. He would be a good third-hole hitter. This guy's unbelievable. He's got so many weapons to hurt you, that he's just unbelievable. His speed, his defense, the way he hits —he can hit for power, he can hit just to get on base. There's so many ways to hurt you. This guy's a serious weapon, I'm telling you right now. … I can't believe he hasn't been signed by someone already. This is a serious weapon. This is a serious player. This is a six-tool player. … And the most important thing, this guy stays healthy and he works really hard. So, there's no way you can go wrong about this guy."