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Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth Not In Yankees' Plans

For months, analysts have figured that in addition to starting pitcher Cliff Lee the New York Yankees were positioning themselves to make a run at Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth, the two biggest-name free-agent outfielders available this offseason.

Well, it appears that will not be the case. The Yankees came away from their organizational meetings earlier this week saying they will not be pursuing either Tampa Bay's Crawford or Philadelphia's Werth.

This decision speaks volumes for what the Yankees think of their current starting outfield of Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher. It is particularly good news for Gardner and his legion of fans. The speedy, left-handed hitting left fielder hit .277 with five home runs, 47 RBI and 47 stolen bases. Gardner, 27, was playing regularly in the big leagues for the first time.

Crawford, 29, hit .307 with 19 home runs, 90 RBI and 47 stolen bases for Tampa Bay.

"We are better with Crawford, but at that price?" a Yankees source said. "I'm not sure it's that good of an upgrade."
Werth, 29, hit 27 home runs, drove in 85 runs and batted .296 for Philly. The Yankees would probably have to deal the popular Nick Swisher if they were to pursue Werth.

This also means that the Yankees appear to be satisfied with Curtis Granderson. The center fielder, acquired from Detroit, hit just .247 for the season, but did have 24 home runs and 67 RBI. The Yankees seem confident that Granderson, who improved dramatically the last three months of the season after working with hitting coach Kevin Long, is back on the right track.

Of course, should the Yankees fail in their bid to acquire Lee all bets are off. It would hardly be surprising to see them change course, go after Crawford or Werth, and use the surplus outfielder to try and acquire a pitcher via trade.