Before signing Carl Crawford, the Red Sox may have engaged in some good old-fashioned negotiating hijinks.
It would be just like the Sox to throw a monkey wrench into the Yankees’ attempt to sign Cliff Lee
And this little stunt, if it indeed happened, would have qualified.
The Sox are one team that made a seven-year offer to Lee, according to officials with another club.
But there was a catch.
The offer was for a lower dollar figure than Lee would accept, making it an offer Lee was certain to refuse.
Why would the Sox do such a thing?
Because with such an offer, they would empower Lee’s agents to say they had a seven-year bid, potentially forcing the Yankees to increase their six-year proposal.
The Yankees do not plan to go beyond six years for Lee, according to a source with knowledge of the club’s thinking.
The Red Sox often bid on free agents the Yankees want in order to drive up the price. The Yankees often do the same thing in reverse. In fact, that was at least part of their motivation in entering the fray for Crawford.