Report: Yankees not planning to pursue Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth

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Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News hears from “a source” that the Yankees “aren’t planning to make a hard charge for Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth” this offseason.

That certainly makes sense because the Yankees are pretty set in the outfield with Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, and Nick Swisher, and Gardner in particular has a relatively similar skill set to Crawford at a fraction of the price.

However, the notion that the Yankees won’t pursue the No. 2 and No. 3 free agents on the market hardly seems set in stone.

What happens if they make Cliff Lee a six-year, $120 million offer and he turns it down? Are the Yankees just going to put that money away for a rainy day and head into 2011 with the same roster? Maybe, but it seems more likely that the moment Lee turns them down would be the same moment their interest in Crawford and Werth increases, even if that means trading one of their current outfielders for pitching help or overpaying for a modest upgrade.

Aaron Judge was involved in a weird play in the fourth inning

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge found himself front-and-center in a weird play in the bottom of the fourth inning during Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday evening. Judge drew a walk to lead off the frame. After Didi Gregorius lined out, Gary Sanchez flied out to shallow right-center.

Judge must have thought the ball had a high probability of falling in for a hit, so he was past the second base bag around the time he realized his mistake. He retraced his steps, running back to first base. Reddick’s throw hopped a couple of times but first base umpire Jerry Meals called Judge out on the tag-up play.

Manager Joe Girardi requested a review and the call was overturned: Judge was safe. However, Astros manager A.J. Hinch wanted to challenge that Judge did not re-touch second base on his way back. Rather than issuing a formal challenge, the Astros had to appeal the play by having starter Lance McCullers throw to second base, at which point second base umpire Jim Reynolds would issue a ruling. McCullers was a bit hasty, though, and made his appeal throw before Greg Bird stepped into the batter’s box. Reynolds told McCullers that he had to wait. So, McCullers again made his appeal throw.

This time, Judge was running and he was simply tagged out at second base for the final out of the inning. No need for a review.

As Ken Rosenthal explained on the FS1 broadcast, the Yankees were trying to “beat the police.” They knew Judge would have been ruled out — replays clearly showed he never re-touched the base — so they had nothing to lose by sending Judge. If he was safe, the Astros would no longer be able to appeal the play. If he’s out, then it’s the same outcome they would have had anyway.