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Carl Crawford on the Yankees: ‘I don’t think they were really interested’

03.04.11 at 12:03 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. ‘€“ The first sight of the Yankees uniforms Friday night in Tampa don’€™t figure to have its usual effect on Red Sox fans. Reason: Their team won the offseason this time around.

At the heart of the Sox’€™ winter victory is Carl Crawford. But, as it turns out, when it comes to the Yankees potentially swooping in and snatching Crawford in a free-agent frenzy, the Red Sox had nothing to worry about.

‘€œMe and the Yankees, we had no connection,’€ Crawford said. ‘€œI don’€™t think they were really interested. If the Yankees want somebody they go out and get them, don’€™t they?’€

One of the reasons that has led Crawford to the conclusion that New York had little to no interest is the lack of phone calls emanating from the Yankees. Torii Hunter was putting the full-court press on from the Angels’€™ side of thing, while both Red Sox manager Terry Francona and general manager Theo Epstein made their visit to Crawford’€™s home in Houston.

New York? Nothing. The outfielder took notice.

And then there was the notion that the Red Sox had to lock up Crawford before Cliff Lee made his decision because if the free-agent pitcher didn’€™t choose the Yanks then Boston would be getting in a bidding war it wouldn’€™t win.

According to Crawford, that timetable was never an option.

‘€œIf they would have come in the time ‘€¦ I wasn’€™t going to wait another week when what I wanted was there and what [the Red Sox] was there. There was no reason to wait around another week,’€ the outfielder explained.

‘€œI didn’€™t think I was going [to New York] after it was clear they were going after Cliff Lee. Before the season started you don’€™t know who is going to do what. But as the season went on it was clear that Cliff Lee was who they were going after. I wasn’€™t setting my sights on New York anymore.

‘€œIf we came to an agreement with Boston I knew I was going to sign. I wasn’€™t going to wait around for anybody else.’€

Was he surprised the Yankees didn’€™t make any sort of offer while their negotiations with Lee unfolded.

‘€œI didn’€™t know because they are the Yankees, so you can’€™t really say they weren’€™t going to. But I wasn’€™t saying, ‘€˜OK, the Yankees are THE team,’€™’€ Crawford said.

‘€œThat’€™s a good team, too. My thing was I wanted to be on a good team. That was pretty much the main thing, besides the money. People say it was cold here and all that, but I wasn’€™t thinking about that. I was thinking about what team I would be on, what group of guys I was going to be with for the next five, six, or however many years I was going to sign with.’€

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