The Boston Red Sox are highly impressed with what Carl Crawford can bring to a team and have begun their pursuit of him this offseason. But right on cue, the Yankees have entered the picture as well.

Crawford, 29, is reportedly seeking an eight-year contract and according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Red Sox and Angels have both met face-to-face with the free agent outfielder. The Red Sox have been reluctant to hand out long-term contracts, however, and may not pony up for Crawford when the rubber officially meets the pavement.The Yankees, however, will hand out whatever contract a free agent desires. Money is obviously no object to the Bombers and if it means blocking their most hated rivals from landing one of the top prizes on the free agent market, then so be it. They’re planning to meet with Crawford as early as next week.

The problem is that New York has other needs – bigger needs. Their No. 1 target this offseason is Cliff Lee, who is the top pitcher on the market. Even if Andy Pettitte decides not to retire, the Yankees need arms and Lee is the best available.

But if he decides to accept an offer to return to the Rangers, then the Yankees will have to turn to Plan B. If that’s Crawford, then they won’t be shy about forking over an eight-year deal. If it’s not, then they’ll still be in the mix so that they can drive up the price for Boston.

Either way, Crawford is about to become a very rich man.

According to latest MLB future odds and oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com, the Red Sox are 10/1 to win the 2011 MLB World Series. The Yankees are favored to win next year’s Fall Classic at 9/2 odds.

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