New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman revealed Thursday that he pretended to pursue outfielder Carl Crawford last winter to increase his price tag, according to ESPN.
"I actually had dinner with the agent to pretend that we were actually involved and drive the price up," he said. "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.' "
The Red Sox signed Crawford to a seven-year 142 million deal last December, while the Yankees have Gardner locked up through 2011, earning a meager 529,500 this season.
Boston begins a three-game series in New York against the Yankees Friday.