Cashman tells Newsday’s Kat O’Brien that the Yanks were out of the Teixiera bidding until the very last minute, and that only when the specter of him landing with the Red Sox became obvious, did he get the go ahead from Hal. She reports:
“It was something I kept pushing, but it was not really being accepted by above me . . . I guess persistence paid off. I knocked on that door, I guess, just enough that someone finally answered. Hal really gave me the OK to pursue it over a few-day period. And at that point, I still thought the Red Sox were getting him.”
Then, to Hal:
“I know you’re not interested, but they’re going to get this guy. He’s going to fall in their lap, and he’s so perfect for us.”
. . . . and I don’t believe a word of this. I think it’s just damage control for Brian’s reputation. Cash was on the record numerous times saying there was no chance they get Tex, how fans/writers who were calling for that were being unrealistic, and then what happens? He signs Tex to a huge deal. So he’s trying to reestablish some credibility for himself for the purposes of doing similar things with prospective free agents in the future. I never believed Cash when he said he wasn’t in, because the payroll was around 180 at the time, which told me he had room.
The reality is that it’s in the Yanks interest to lie about who they are/aren’t interested in. Telling the world who they want can raise the price for some players, depending on who is is bidding on them. They usually approach free agents one of two ways:
1-The CC approach. Often used by George Stenbrenner in his heyday, you blow everyone else out of the water early with a huge bid. It looks extravagant, yet this can actually save you money by avoiding getting into bidding wars by scaring off competitors. Works best with a player who’s lukewarm on coming to NY. You make your bid irresistible.
2-The Tex approach. Tell everyone you’re not interested in the player, lay in the weeds till the last minute and then sign him at just above the market rate. The idea here is to avoid the effect the Yanks can have on a marketplace, where teams raise their bids to compete with them. It also works best on a player you know really wants to play for you.
Since the Red Sox were in on Tex, strategy #2 made the most sense. The Sox can keep pace with the Yanks in a bidding war, and will even keep bidding beyond the point where they’re serious just to screw the Yanks. By jumping in at the last minute, you pay the price the market has set without getting into any Red Sox shenanigans.
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