A night after Carl Crawford enjoyed a steak dinner with the New York Yankees, he served up a meaty surprise: He's going to play for the rival Boston Red Sox.
The Red Sox struck again at these winter meetings, reaching agreement Thursday with the star leftfielder on a $142 million, seven-year contract.
A person familiar with the talks told the Associated Press late Wednesday the agreement was subject to Crawford passing a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet finalized.
Crawford's free-agent deal was first reported by The Boston Globe on its website.
On Monday, the Red Sox announced they had acquired slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez in a trade with San Diego. Boston's big deals came after they failed to make the playoffs and will certainly increase pressure on the Yankees to make a splash - that could mean Cliff Lee.
Hours earlier, New York made its first offer to Lee, a six-year proposal worth nearly $140 million. It was easy to tell how eager the Yankees are to sign the prize pitcher.
Not to be outdone, Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg; assistant general manager Thad Levine; and cochairman Ray Davis, a pipeline billionaire, traveled to Arkansas to present Lee with a "menu of multiple offers" in an attempt to persuade him to remain with the team he helped reach the World Series.
The three men met with Lee, the pitcher's wife, and agent Darek Braunecker for about 90 minutes in Braunecker's office.
Greenberg would not get into specific details Thursday night, but said the offers included "substantial additional commitments in years and dollars." He characterized them as "highly competitive."
Still in play are big-name free agents Adrian Beltre, Magglio Ordonez, and Manny Ramirez, along with Lee.
Olivo, Mariners reach deal. A person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press that catcher Miguel Olivo reached preliminary agreement on a contract to return to the Seattle Mariners. The deal is subject to Olivo passing a physical.
Cabrera, Royals agree. A person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press that outfielder Melky Cabrera, who played for Atlanta in 2010, has reached a preliminary agreement on a $1.25 million, one-year contract with the Kansas City Royals.
Orioles-Twins trade. Trying to add more pop up the middle, the Baltimore Orioles acquired former all-star shortstop J.J. Hardy from the Minnesota Twins. The Orioles also got infielder Brendan Harris and $500,000 in the trade that sent minor-league righthanders Jim Hoey and Brett Jacobson to the AL Central champion Twins.