“Half-Dozen Teams In The Mix” For Cliff Lee

Cliff Lee has already generated a lot of buzz this winter, but according to ESPN's Buster Olney, the market for the star left-hander will "heat up" over the next week and Lee could be signed during the winter meetings.  Darek Braunecker, Lee's agent, tells Olney that he and Lee are scheduled to meet with as many as three teams over the next week.

"We've got a fair number of teams trying to work through the process," Braunecker said. "It's probably fair to say we've got a half-dozen teams in the mix."

The Rangers and Yankees have already met with Lee, which is no surprise since they're the two biggest suitors for the free agent starter.  The Nationals are also known to be interested, and other teams like the Angels, Astros, Cubs, Dodgers, Phillies and Red Sox have also at least checked in on Lee.  Washington could make things interesting with a big offer, but it's a pretty safe bet that Lee will pitch in either New York or Texas next season.  Though the Rangers have some extra revenue to work with, Olney points out that Lee alone could take up 20-30% of the Texas payroll next season.  That's a major commitment for a team that isn't quite a big-market player and might also have to fit in a Josh Hamilton extension.


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106 Comments on "“Half-Dozen Teams In The Mix” For Cliff Lee"


missyae
4 years 9 months ago

He was at the Razorback and LSU game today in Little Rock on the field ‘calling the hogs’ with his family. He donated a million dollars last week to an Arkansas Children’s Hospital. He just does not fit the Yankees. I would bet St. Louis is involved, Texas, Boston, NYY, Phily, Atlanta.

Ferrariman
4 years 9 months ago

their is about a .5% chance lee signs with st. louis. maybe not even that high.

Revive85
4 years 9 months ago

No way STL is involved. They are way too busy worrying about how to keep all their current SP together in the future and give Pujols the contract he wants.

Ferrariman
4 years 9 months ago

well let me answer the first part of that statement, they aren’t. When Westbrook and Lohse’s contracts are gone, so are they. Carpenter will either have his remainder of his deal re-structured from 15mil option into something like a 2yr/20 mil deal or he is as good as gone. Miller and Lynn should fill up 2 spots and a FA the last.

Ferrariman
4 years 9 months ago

ugh now you got me thinking of “what could have been” if we didn’t sign Lohse… a rotation of Wainwright, Lee, Carpenter, Garcia, Westbrook….UGHHH. ok..time to wake up

brstreet9
4 years 9 months ago

I wish Lohse would have just went ahead and been awful in 2008…

4 years 9 months ago

i know this is a stupid thought, but i am a long time Orioles fan, and if they even made an offer to him, i would respect them even more.

4 years 9 months ago

If they could get Lee, and all the rest of their big prospects work out, they could have a dangerous team for 5-10 years.

Ferrariman
4 years 9 months ago

“If they could get Lee, and all the rest of their big prospects work out, they could have a dangerous team for 5-10 years.”that could be said of literally any team. Their is a reason prospects are called..well… “prospects”

4 years 9 months ago

Good point, but they already have a core that’s been “successful” in the major leagues. Markakis, Jones, Roberts, and Matusz. I didn’t put Wieters in because at this point I don’t know if I would consider him successful.

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

I would love too see Lee go to the Angels

monster55
4 years 9 months ago

No way the Angels spend the money necessary to get Lee.

jt24
4 years 9 months ago

seriously, the angels are said to be one of the top spenders this offseason. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the angels go after lee. I would be surprised though, if they made him their top priority over crawford or beltre or soriano

Jonathan Stone
4 years 9 months ago

Why? The Angels will spend on a bat, but the rotation is essentially set for the next two years, and the Angels will certainly make a run at resigning Weaver when he becomes a FA after 2011, hanging a $20M salary in the rotation when over the likely 6 year term of that contract the Angels will try to resign or replace Weaver, Haren, Morales and Kendrick, and possibly another deal with Hunter and (fingers crossed) Crawford. I don’t think the Angels have an appetite to tie up so much for a single player when their historic preference has been for depth over singular talents.

jt24
4 years 9 months ago

Im not saying the angels are going to sign lee, its just im not shocked that they are “interested”. Personally, I would rather them use that money to sign crawford and beltre/soriano.

monster55
4 years 9 months ago

No way the Angels spend the money necessary to get Lee.

4 years 9 months ago

BOSTON

PookieGonzales
4 years 9 months ago

No way man. There’s way to much money invested in the rotation as it is. Just not a good fit.

4 years 9 months ago

Yeah it would be tough moving Beckett, Lackey or Dice-K without paying their contract out anyways.

4 years 9 months ago

They already have a ton of money invested in their rotation, there is just no way.

Big_jays_fan
4 years 9 months ago

the only reason i want to see Lee signing with NY is, to see the Yanks get screwed over by overpaying their veteran players as well as overpaying for an Ace who is already 32 .. so a 6 yr 140 million is a lot ..

mind you Lee is prolly top 2 pitcher in baseball along with Doc but Lee only have 2 mindblowing season behind him and other average season … so as fast as it comes, it can also go just as quickly ….

with Jeter asking 6yr / 150 , Mo around 2 yr / 40 million, Alex ( Roid) will be making 30 million as a DH pretty soon, then you add Cliff Lee 6-7 yrs / 140-160 million

thats maybe a little too much for even the yanks to handle

vtadave
4 years 9 months ago

Yankees get screwed by spending money? Uh…. even if Lee gets hurt in his first start, I think somehow the Yankees would avoid bankruptcy.

Yankeeboy11
4 years 9 months ago

You act like the Yankees are going to give Jeter 6 years 150m LOL. The Yankees aren’t going to go any higher then the 4/60m they offered. Why go higher? Who’s ganna top that? He wants more? Is he ganna hold out like Jermaine Dye did and not play the season? Yea ok I doubt jeter is ganna stop playing baseball cause he didnt get 150m. Please lmao The Yankees don’t get screwed by money really.

Big_jays_fan
4 years 9 months ago

i agree with you that yanks can afford all of this and still not worry about their payroll… but we all can think about scenario .. i mean i am sure yanks don’t want to make a Pr disaster move by letting Jeter walk even if he is insane in asking 6/ 140 .. but i think he is more than a player to yanks and to baseball …. there might be some give and take and a compromise but i don’t think he ll settle for anything less than 100 million of 5 yrs .. he has his ego probs with Arod money … if Arod can get that money why can I ??? thats probbaly going on right now in jeters head ..

i don’t follow the yanks that much but from what i have read .. the qoutes of the new owner ( son of steinberbner) doesn’t sound that much emotionally involved into the team .. he seems to take business kinda angle ….. its just me maybe the son will not go over a hard number

Yankeeboy11
4 years 9 months ago

Because A-rods a Power Hitter. And Power Hitters get paid. Jeter is going to settle for 4/60m that he’s being offered unless he expects to play Baseball for 10m for another team. Seriously I dont see why people think there going to offer him more? WHERE IS JETER GOing to GO?

PookieGonzales
4 years 9 months ago

TO BOSTON!!!

No but for real there is no team that is willing to pay him the 3/45 the yanks are offering now. None. And if they are they’re pretty thick.

PookieGonzales
4 years 9 months ago

TO BOSTON!!!

No but for real there is no team that is willing to pay him the 3/45 the yanks are offering now. None. And if they are they’re pretty thick.

4 years 9 months ago

By the time A-Rod is DHing he will ‘only’ be making about $20-21M per year. Plus Jeter will get nowhere near 6/150. Probably like 4/80.

Besides I am pretty sure the Yankees have already figured out what they owe people in the coming years just like we have. And they also know what we don’t know – the revenue from the Stadium and more importantly from YES. I am sure they know exactly what they are doing.

4 years 9 months ago

Lee’s career number aren’t incredible because of the fact that he developed his cutter in his cy young season with cleveland (maybe it was the year before). Ever since he developed that pitch he has been dominant.

4 years 9 months ago

Don’t forget about AJ Burnout on contract for 3 more years, Teix for another 6 years, CC(who can opt out), then Cano will get a new deal in a few years, so yeah, it will get rough.

Quest2b1
4 years 9 months ago

Dodgers checking in, “Hi, Ned Colletti here! So how much for Lee?…That’s what I thought, thanks.” *Click*

4 years 9 months ago

Heard this the first time it was said the Dodgers were interested. Anyways whatever slim chance the Dodgers had I believe would be gone by signing Garland.

Quest2b1
4 years 9 months ago

When was the last time the Dodgers signed any FA to longer than a 3 year deal? Ned likes the Wolf/Garland/Padilla type signings. I am sure he is licking his lips right now at the thought of signing Pat Burrell on a 2 year deal.

4 years 9 months ago

Heard this the first time it was said the Dodgers were interested. Anyways whatever slim chance the Dodgers had I believe would be gone by signing Garland.

4 years 9 months ago

There going to try and make a bidding war for Lee over the next week. I would’nt be surprised if the Angels were involved but I think he’s going to the one who gives him the most money.

Yankeeboy11
4 years 9 months ago

Eh I think the Angels are ganna stick to getting Soriano,Beltre and 1 of Werth/Crawford.

cookmeister
4 years 9 months ago

if the angels somehow move kazmir, i could see them getting involved

dodgers1111
4 years 9 months ago

Does anyone think there is any chance that baseball will ever get a salary cap? I hate seeing the Yankees get who ever they want by paying more than anyone else can?

mrmoss
4 years 9 months ago

Jealous much?…..Maybe other owners should put the money back into the team?

stl_cards16
4 years 9 months ago

This theory that the Yankees are the only owners to “put money into the team” has been proved wrong so many times. The Yankees also make more PROFIT than any other team. So yes, they are putting the most money into their team, but they are also pocketing the most. So get off the “our owners care about winning more than yours” It’s simply not true.

mrmoss
4 years 9 months ago

Thats what a successful out fit does muppet,Make a profit…wouldnt you take a cut of the profits? if you where the owner

stl_cards16
4 years 9 months ago

Of course, that’s the whole point in owning a team. But you said “maybe other owners should put money back into the team”. Which back to your point, everyone has to make a profit. It has nothing to do with jealousy, it’s just every year the top free agent is the yanks “top priority”. It’s just not a level playing field. You can say it’s about the owners or whatever you want to, but any team could have the same success as the Yanks if they had the same overwhelming advantage the Yankees do. Which is the market they are in and nothing else.

monster55
4 years 9 months ago

The Yankees also pay every single other team in baseball in thanks to revenue sharing. They literally give away their money.

djfanon
4 years 9 months ago

Well when you put it like that I guess you are right, it is fair on Jays, Orioles and Rays fans…

mrmoss
4 years 9 months ago

Oh please get over yourself…..like the Mets ?

4 years 9 months ago

At least do your homework and mention the Dodgers and Giants. The Mets are the red-headed step child of New York baseball. Having been founded in 1962, they have only been to the World Series 4 times in 48 years, but have still managed to contend in the payroll department with a $132M 2010 payroll. The Giants had gone to the World Series 15 times and won 2 NL championships prior to the WS in the 74 years they were in NY (every 4.35 years). The Brooklyn Dodgers had been to 9 World Series and won 3 NL championships prior to the WS in 67 years of being in NY (every 5.58 years).

kirkdavenport
4 years 9 months ago

Remember that when the Dodgers and Giants were in NY there was an 8 team league. Now the NL has 16 teams. It may not be fair to write about how often they won the championship compared to the Mets. The Mets actually have won their share based on being in a 12 or 16 team league, but if you are highlighting how much they spend compared to how often they win, then the Mets are lagging – maybe a better example against big spending than any other team – they seem to get less from their money than most

4 years 9 months ago

prior to 1900, the NL was a 12 team league, the NL championships i mentioned (2 – Giants, 3 – Dodgers) still apply if you want apples to apples. The NY Yankees by comparison went to 23 World Series in the time that the Dodgers and Giants were in NY. And the Yankees did that in a 8 team league.

The Mets are definitely not winning their share based on payroll, but JUST being in NY allows them to still have a payroll that high despite their relative lack of success.

4 years 9 months ago

At least do your homework and mention the Dodgers and Giants. The Mets are the red-headed step child of New York baseball. Having been founded in 1962, they have only been to the World Series 4 times in 48 years, but have still managed to contend in the payroll department with a $132M 2010 payroll. The Giants had gone to the World Series 15 times and won 2 NL championships prior to the WS in the 74 years they were in NY (every 4.35 years). The Brooklyn Dodgers had been to 9 World Series and won 3 NL championships prior to the WS in 67 years of being in NY (every 5.58 years).

mrmoss
4 years 9 months ago

Oh please get over yourself…..like the Mets ?

Big_jays_fan
4 years 9 months ago

as much as i hate the yanks and red sox and their payroll .. i don’t like the salary capping thing at all .. we have all seen whts going on in NHL and with teams struggling to find ways to stay under the cap .. therefore they are not building towards being competitve but more towards how to manage the salary/ payroll

i think you need to expand the playoffs and once in a playoff its crapshoot … so just increase the team from 8 to 12 … so add 2 more wild cards in each league …..

4 years 9 months ago

When they make a salary floor, there will be a cap.

I hate seeing fans of teams complain about the fact that the yankees spend so much money, when the Luxury tax (yankee tax) helps out every other team.

stl_cards16
4 years 9 months ago

And before they create a salary floor there will have to be a much better solution to revenue sharing than the “luxury tax”. Some teams simply do not make enough to spend even $60MM a year on payroll. There is alot more to the issue than just declaring a couple numbers. But IMO it will never happen and that doesn’t bother me. Let all the money hungry players go to New York, let the players who just love to play, play where they want.

4 years 9 months ago

For a cap and floor to happen, they would probably have to renegotiate every contract, so each team can have the correct salaries in place.

Slopeboy
4 years 9 months ago

For a Salary cap and a floor to happen, pigs would have to fly and the Players Union would have to agree to the cap. Which one happens first?

PookieGonzales
4 years 9 months ago

Pigs fly by a land slide.

PookieGonzales
4 years 9 months ago

Pigs fly by a land slide.

Slopeboy
4 years 9 months ago

For a Salary cap and a floor to happen, pigs would have to fly and the Players Union would have to agree to the cap. Which one happens first?

4 years 9 months ago

Do you really think the players in New York don’t love to play baseball? Maybe they just want to do what they love while making the most money possible doing it. We should all be so lucky…

4 years 9 months ago

Do you really think the players in New York don’t love to play baseball? Maybe they just want to do what they love while making the most money possible doing it. We should all be so lucky…

Fruitbowl
4 years 9 months ago

Is the luxury tax revenue even distributed to teams? Anyways the luxury tax and whoever negotiated it are a joke. The threshold started at 117$M in 2003 (I think?) and keeps increasing year by year. In 2011 the threshold is 178$M. Its gradually phasing itself out.

slider32
4 years 9 months ago

Let’s not forget that the Giants won the series this year not the Yanks,Rangers or Phils.

4 years 9 months ago

Ummm, What does the Giants beating the Rangers for the World Series have to do with payroll? If anything, your statement becomes hypocritical when it is pointed out that the Giants payroll was 98M compared to the Rangers 55M

slider32
4 years 9 months ago

What i mean’t was that the Yanks have the highest payroll and they didn’t win and the Rangers had Lee and they didn’t win, the Phils had the best team with the best pitcher and they didn’t win.

4 years 9 months ago

Tell the US Congress to left the anti trust exemption for baseball. that will allow 2 to 3 teams move to NYC area. That will level the playing field

4 years 9 months ago

I don’t know really. If there was an expansion New Jersey team or Fairfield County team do you really Yankee fans are going to start jumping ship?

4 years 9 months ago

Of course not. You could even point out the truth; the fact that the Yankees started out as the Baltimore Orioles and had to CHEAT just to be able to move to New York and become the Yankees, and they wouldnt even bat an eye lash.

4 years 9 months ago

I don’t know really. If there was an expansion New Jersey team or Fairfield County team do you really Yankee fans are going to start jumping ship?

4 years 9 months ago

I think the yankees are going to get him no matter what, the rangers would have to give him the biggest offer for a pitcher ever for the yankees to not match it. The nationals aren’t going to get him because even though Cliff wants money, he won’t want to play for a team that won’t make the playoffs for another two or so years. As far as i’m concerned any team besides those three is just kicking the tires.

j96
4 years 9 months ago

I think the jays should take a shot at lee put Cecil in a bullpen role and u could have one of the best lefty in the game without giving anything back lee, morrow, marcum, ramaro, drabek wow if drakek doesnt work put Cecil back in would be nice

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

Lee’s a Type A.. AA isn’t giving up picks. and he’s not giving out 6 year contracts.

abraves10
4 years 9 months ago

I think it would be hilarious if the Yankees lost out on Lee,didnt sign Jeter,and lost out on Werth and Crawford that would make my day

Yankeeboy11
4 years 9 months ago

and then you wake up from your dream.

rockiesfan_303
4 years 9 months ago

Yeah man, not happening.

rockiesfan_303
4 years 9 months ago

Yeah man, not happening.

roberty
4 years 9 months ago

In that scenario they might be receptive to a Derek Lowe trade.

roberty
4 years 9 months ago

In that scenario they might be receptive to a Derek Lowe trade.

Sixto_Lezcano
4 years 9 months ago

The Astros are going to come out of nowhere and sign Lee.

…And then the Yankees will just buy the Astros.

Sixto_Lezcano
4 years 9 months ago

The Astros are going to come out of nowhere and sign Lee.

…And then the Yankees will just buy the Astros.

unvme7
4 years 9 months ago

If Lee doesnt sign with the Rangers, I would be ok with a Greinke trade for prospects. Then we would have a little money saved up from not signing Lee and signing a few more players this off season and the next. Perhaps a Crawford. Crazy I know, but Hamilton and Crawford are pretty close. I could see it happen.

jt24
4 years 9 months ago

I really don’t see the rangers getting that interested in crawford, signing him would mean having hamilton in center all year and that could be dangerous due to his history of injuries. if they did get him they would be even more lethal in the AL west

unvme7
4 years 9 months ago

I agree. Hes more of a necessity than a luxory at this point. Wouldnt really need him, but would be super nice to have. I’d rather spend that money on starting pitching or even a good catcher, if that means they have to wait until next year….since the catchers at this point pretty much blow..

jt24
4 years 9 months ago

i really see the rangers being the front runner for grienke if they dont sign lee. They have the prospects to get it done, and texas doesnt seem like the place that would trigger his anxiety problems.

unvme7
4 years 9 months ago

I agree. Hes more of a necessity than a luxory at this point. Wouldnt really need him, but would be super nice to have. I’d rather spend that money on starting pitching or even a good catcher, if that means they have to wait until next year….since the catchers at this point pretty much blow..

rangersvoice
4 years 9 months ago

No, Hamilton wouldn’t be stuck in center. Borbon would play center and Hamilton would DH ever so often to give him a break. That would make signing a DH irrelevant for the Rangers if Crawford were to come.

It would depend on whether the rangers want a everyday DH like Vladimir or Dunn. Or do they want a rotation in the outfield making the odd man out the DH? E.g Crawford left, Hamilton center, Cruz right and Borbon and murphy rotating in and out.

unvme7
4 years 9 months ago

If Lee doesnt sign with the Rangers, I would be ok with a Greinke trade for prospects. Then we would have a little money saved up from not signing Lee and signing a few more players this off season and the next. Perhaps a Crawford. Crazy I know, but Hamilton and Crawford are pretty close. I could see it happen.

rockiesfan_303
4 years 9 months ago

If the Rangers don’t get Lee they are gonna have to find some way to keep up with LAA if they get 2 of Werth.Crawford.Soriano.Beltre. Maybe sign Dunn and try to trade for Greinke?

rockiesfan_303
4 years 9 months ago

If the Rangers don’t get Lee they are gonna have to find some way to keep up with LAA if they get 2 of Werth.Crawford.Soriano.Beltre. Maybe sign Dunn and try to trade for Greinke?

missyae
4 years 9 months ago

I don’t see Lee going that far out west for the Angels. He would stay with Texas first, even for a tad less money than going west.

Red_Line_9
4 years 9 months ago

Cliff Lee is going to morph into Jaime Moyer soon.

jt24
4 years 9 months ago

i could totally see him doing that!

Red_Line_9
4 years 9 months ago

Don’t get me wrong. Jaime Moyer had a long successful career. I’m just not sure a team would be wise shelling out high end ace money at a guy who looks like he could be coming down a few notches in the next few seasons.

Sabathia and him are both lefties….that’s about where the comparison stops…especially when projecting the future.

Teams might be wiser to go get Greinke for at least 2 years in a trade.

jt24
4 years 9 months ago

i could totally see him doing that!

4 years 9 months ago

I doubt that Cliff Lee will be a Yankee with the way the Jeter negotiations are being handled.

tomzig
4 years 9 months ago

What does Jeter have to do with Cliff Lee?

Quest2b1
4 years 9 months ago

I heard after they sign their new deals they are thinking of buying the Astros :)

4 years 9 months ago

I just don’t think he’d want to deal with the NY media if he does struggle in NY. Take a look at AJ Burnett, all that money, and he had a dismal year last year, and the NY media is ready to rip him to shreds. With the way the Jeter negotiations are going, what i’m think is that Lee would rather sign elsewhere and stay away from the circus like environment of NY.

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

with how much money lee’s next contract is going to be, he is going to be open for criticism if he doesn’t perform no matter where he goes.. He’s going to become one of the top paid pitchers in the game, if he doesn’t suceed he will be ripped to shreds like Aj no matter where he goes.

4 years 9 months ago

I just don’t think he’d want to deal with the NY media if he does struggle in NY. Take a look at AJ Burnett, all that money, and he had a dismal year last year, and the NY media is ready to rip him to shreds. With the way the Jeter negotiations are going, what i’m think is that Lee would rather sign elsewhere and stay away from the circus like environment of NY.

tomzig
4 years 9 months ago

What does Jeter have to do with Cliff Lee?