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.

MLBPA proposes 114-game season, playoff expansion to MLB

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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association has submitted a proposal to the league concerning the 2020 season. The proposal includes a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.

Passan clarifies that among the players who choose to opt out, only those that are considered “high risk” would still receive their salaries. The others would simply receive service time. The union also proposed that the players receive a non-refundable $100 million sum advance during what would essentially be Spring Training 2.

If the regular season were to begin in early July, as has often been mentioned as the target, that would give the league four months to cram in 114 games. There would have to be occasional double-headers, or the players would have to be okay with few off-days. Nothing has been mentioned about division realignment or a geographically-oriented schedule, but those could potentially ease some of the burden.

Last week, the owners made their proposal to the union, suggesting a “sliding scale” salary structure. The union did not like that suggestion. Players were very vocal about it, including on social media as Max Scherzer — one of eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee — made a public statement. The owners will soon respond to the union’s proposal. They almost certainly won’t be happy with many of the details, but the two sides can perhaps find a starting point and bridge the gap. As the calendar turns to June, time is running out for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on what a 2020 season will look like.