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Yankees reach out to Crawford


The Yankees have reached out to top free agent outfielder Carl Crawford and are believed to be interested in meeting with him. The Yankees' top target is ace pitcher Cliff Lee, but they haven't ruled out signing both players, depending on how things break. The Yankees managed to find room for CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett three winters ago.

The Yankees are on the verge of bringing back Mariano Rivera on a two-year deal for close to $30 million, a deal that is expected to be concluded within a few days, but are still haggling with iconic shortstop Derek Jeter and awaiting word on whether Andy Pettitte wants to return for another year with them or retire. The Yankees upped their $45-million, three-year offer to Jeter on Thursday and are believed willing to pay him about $51 million and perhaps add a fourth-year option.

The Angels are still viewed as the favorites for Crawford, with several more teams, including the Red Sox, in play. The Yankees have always loved Crawford. Their scouting operation is based out of Tampa, and they often saw him play for the Rays, with whom he has spent his entire career.

If the Yankees were to land Crawford, they'd likely trade either Nick Swisher or Brett Gardner, two outfielders with trade value.