The Yankees continue to target Cliff Lee as their primary free agent target this offseason, but with talks of another team offering him a seven-year deal and the talks moving at a frustratingly slow pace, they are gearing up for plan B, Carl Crawford.
It appears that Crawford is still their backup plan, but Joel Sherman of the NY Post wrote that the Yankees ran through scenarios where they could get both him and Lee. Sherman added that it was unlikely.
Jayson Stark of ESPN reported that the Yankees have hinted that if Andy Pettitte retires it makes it more likely that they could afford both Lee and Crawford. Pettitte is expected to sign for around $10-$11 million and it appears, because of lack of interest in free-agent pitchers, that they would try to go cheap to replace him if he does not come back. So that extra money could go toward Crawford.
The Yankees do have three outfielders that they have signed for $18 million combined next season. With Crawford likely to make at least that much by himself it doesn’t seem like signing him seems makes a lot of sense if Pettitte doesn’t retire.