Heyman On Cliff Lee, Mets, Penny

SI's Jon Heyman dishes the latest on the hot stove…

  • Heyman provides reasons why he sees the Yankees as the favorite to sign Cliff Lee: their revenue, rotation question marks, and lack of a backup plan chief among them.  He also talked to Lee's agent Darek Braunecker about the story about Lee's wife being harassed by Yankees fans at a game.  Braunecker said, "That story was blown out of proportion.  It's not like she's hypersensitive. She's been with him in Philadelphia and all over, been with him from the get-go. It really was that one time, just a couple clowns…probably intoxicated. I don't know if that will have any bearing on (the decision)."
  • Heyman predicts destinations for 15 of the top free agents; nothing crazy.
  • Padres GM Jed Hoyer draws praise for being upfront about not being able to sign Adrian Gonzalez.
  • New Mets GM Sandy Alderson will be paid close to $3MM, while Paul DePodesta will get close to $1MM.  With J.P. Ricciardi, Wayne Krivsky, and Omar Minaya also on the ledger, Heyman figures this is baseball's most expensive front office.
  • Heyman feels that the Mets "would likely avoid" allowing Francisco Rodriguez to finish 55 games in 2011, which would trigger his $17.5MM option for '12.  He also notes that the Mets "will wait to see Jose Reyes play a large chunk of this coming season before getting serious about a long-term deal."  That approach might work, but from Reyes' point of view if he's having a great year and is months away from free agency he might as well go to the open market.
  • It's a little early for "best shape of his life" reports, but that's the word on free agent righty Brad Penny.  The 32-year-old was limited to nine starts this year due to a lat muscle injury.

40 Responses to Heyman On Cliff Lee, Mets, Penny Leave a Reply

  1. j6takish 5 years ago

    That K-Rod option is terrifying

  2. This K-Rod situation has an easy fix–sign another reliever capable of closing. For instance, if the Mets signed Scott Downs, we could use him in the 9th against more lefty-heavy lineups.

    • Brian Fuentes would work too.

      • j6takish 5 years ago

        Wasn’t Fernando Rodney brought in to do the exact same thing to Brian Fuentes? The irony!

        • Yeah, I guess there is a bit of irony. But I think it would be a productive situation for Fuentes, whereas Rodney was never a good idea for the 9th.

    • moonraker45 5 years ago

      Downs costs a pick though

      • I guess we’re just going to have to sign Lee to counter it. :)

        (maybe Fuentes is a better option then, as he’d just cost a B)

  3. not_brooks 5 years ago

    Nothing crazy in the free agent destinations, but listing Derek Jeter as the fourth best free agent is typical Heyman nonsense.

    • and the only way Werth qualifies as the #3 is if he’s signed to play in another band-box ballpark

  4. Spirit of '69 5 years ago

    At least the Mets have a front office now, and I doubt Krivsky and Minaya really stay unless they want to accept reduced roles.

  5. Slopeboy 5 years ago

    Brad Penny in ‘the best shape of his life’, not really saying much if you can remember what he’s looked recently. The question is what kind of pitching performance does he bring to the table.

    • moonraker45 5 years ago

      Exactly “best shape of HIS life” really doesn’t mean anything to anyone

      Now if they said he was in the best shape of “Mark Mcguire’s Life” that would tell us something

  6. I laughed when I read the statement by Lee’s agent. In less than a paragraph, he does a complete 180. He goes from blown out of proporation to I don’t know if that will have any bearing… which to me means it WILL have bearing on the decision. I feel for Yanks fans but I think the only reason Lee is even listening to the Yanks is to drive up the price. He’s going back to Texas or one of the seven other teams that might be willing to shell out the cabbage.

    • raullll 5 years ago

      Let me guess your a Yankees hater correct?

    • vtadave 5 years ago

      Yep, I’m sure he’s more likely to head to the Dodgers or Nats than the Yankees, right?

    • Infield Fly 5 years ago

      “I feel for Yanks fans but I think the only reason Lee is even listening to the Yanks is to drive up the price.”

      Wait – so you feel for fans of THE team that regularly drives up the price of free agents for everyone else? Are you a saint….or just a Yanks fan in disguise?

      • Actually, I’m a Jays fan… so I’m hoping Lee doesn’t land in the AL East. Which is why I thought it was hilarious when stupid Yankee fans harassed the wife of what was going to be the biggest free agent of the pending off season. Unless you are married, you wouldn’t understand. If that was my wife, I wouldn’t care if the Yanks offered $200M… you don’t spit on my wife.

        • moonraker45 5 years ago

          As a fellow Jays fan, I can tell you if someone offered me 200 million, i would simply buy a new wife. a better one, one that came with spit guards.

  7. Blazin80 5 years ago

    I think Lee stays in Tx, Pettite retires and NY has a rotation of CC, Hughes, AJ, Joba and Swisher next year 😀

  8. Tko11 5 years ago

    17.5 million for a closer is simply ridiculous!! No closer is worth that much, not even Mariano Rivera…

    • icedrake523 5 years ago

      They only paid him $8/11/11M over the 3 years. That’s why the option/4th yr is $17M.

      • Tko11 5 years ago

        I still dont see why the option is $17 million…you just cant justify it. The mets paid him $9 mill in 09 and were supposed to pay $12 mil in 2010 before his little fiasco occurred. Krod should be making around the $8 million mark if not less.

  9. you dumb idiots lee is going to be a yankee…

  10. Wow…so far the only person that will support Lee staying in Texas is Mitch Williams. Otherwise, every person has automatically assumed that Lee will be a Yankee, and I see Yankee fans everywhere ranting about it. If Lee becomes a Yankee is because it is what is best for him and his family. So many people tend to forget the the Rangers can give out a contract as big as the Yankees, the recent $3 billion tv contract signing helps. Lee wants to keep his option open and isn’t going to let a few fans get in the way of his choice, that would be stupid because its a huge decision. The Yankees are old, simply put, well at least getting there fast. The Rangers on the other hand are young, and has proven to be a contender for years to come with the core of guys locked up. The main cases that the Yankees have in money, and being a contender don’t hold much since the Rangers can counter that. He decision decides where he will live for the next 5 to 6 years. The Rangers have better chemistry and have more fun than the Yankees. He LOVES the Rangers, and would love to pitch in Texas again, but his decision lies with what is best for him and his family. From what I have seen, Texas has more to offer to Lee than the Yanks.

    • Slopeboy 5 years ago

      Before you post again, take a deep breath and exhale. You fail to take into consideration that the Angels are not going to sit still and allow the Rangers to take the division just because they won it this year. One year really isn’t much proof of contending into the future. The game is played every year on the field not on paper.The money you’re talking about is not in a one lump sum, it’s spread out through a few years. The Rangers still have considerable debt and a budget that does not compare with NY. If they pay Lee big money, what will it do to their to their ability to compete in the FA market in the future. Remember that the Rangers were the team to pay A-Rod the huge contract that hampered them for all the years that brought them to where they are now. Age is not as important a factor as production, Jeter, last year at age 35 had a great year and age didn’t matter. This year his production was down and all of a sudden age mattered. Same with Posada and A-Rod. Rivera and Pettitte had good years and no one volunteers the idea that they’re too old to play. Look at A-Rod’s stats and see how they compare to Vlad’s and tell me he’s old and declining. This spring, take a look at the final rosters and tell me that the Yankees are old, you’re in for a surprise.
      They do have players with age, but they all produce, everyone carries their weight.
      As far as chemistry, you’re not in either clubhouse to speak about who has more fun and don’t know Lee personally to claim he’s staying in Texas. We’ll see what he loves more, the Texas Rangers’ or Yankees’ dollars.

      • MadmanTX 5 years ago

        You take the deep breath. How the Angels, A’s and Mariners react to the Rangers next season has nothing to do with anything. Unless one of them goes out and signs Lee themselves and/or the Rangers fail to sign Lee, there is nothing they can do to improve enough to beat a Lee-led rotation. As for the Yankees, you don’t have to live/work in their clubhouse to see this is a bunch of individuals playing for big money and championships and not a team looking out for each other the way the Rangers do. Lee must have noticed that too and that plus a contract larger than one the Yankees offer and a no trade clause, makes Lee a Ranger. The bottom line that Heyman doesn’t get either is that the Rangers need Lee more than the Yankees do and there is virtually nobody else that the Rangers are willing to offer money to than Lee this offseason.

        • Slopeboy 5 years ago

          Good to see that arrogance is not limited to immature Yankees fans. You seem to be pretty sure that things will remain status quo next year, that the Angels won’t be able to catch the Rangers and that Lee will re-sign with Texas. Well, remember that’s why they play the games. One trip to the championship series doesn’t make the team invincible or ensures a return trip to the post season, so don’t be so dismissive of the competition, partner. As for your knock on the Yankees players, that shows not only arrogance but ignorance as well.You have no clue as to what the Yankees feel or how they interact with each other. So for you to pass judgement is just wrong. Finally, just because the Rangers need Lee more than the Yankees doesn’t mean they’ll get him. Doesn’t mean the Yankees will get him either.
          Lets see what happens.
          Hold on tight to your saddle, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

      • Although I am not a yankees fan, I agree with most of what you say. Im sick of people talking about where Lee LOVES to play. He is a Merc. All the guys he has played with on different teams and friends of his have all come out and said he will go where he gets the most money. Bottom line. If Texas wants they will have to ATLEAST match NYY. Sorry to say, he will be a Yankee next year!

    • I find all of your statements extremely subjective and based off of little to no facts. First off, the Yankees network (YES) trumps the Rangers new tv deal and they are a billion dollar franchise. Financially, no one can match what they can offer should they decide to push the limit.

      To say that the Yankees are old and the Rangers “are young and can contend for years to come” isn’t explaining the entire story. The Yankees are only older by an avg. of 3 years, and considering Pettite/Rivera/Posada all drastically escalate that age average yet are extremely valuable diminishes the point of simply considering their age.

      How could you possibly know whether the Rangers have more fun than the Yankees? Have you spent a significant amount of time in both of their clubhouses? That’s an entirely subjective statement based off no facts or evidence to support it. If anything, Lee’s best friend is CC so I could easily make the argument that he would have more fun in NY.

      Lee’s friends have indicated that when the trade w/ NY fell through and he was going to Texas instead he was “less than thrilled”, indicating his desire to play for the yankees.

      If your going to make an argument for Lee to sign w/ Texas, at least make it worthwhile and rely on entirely subjective arguments.

  11. greggpf 5 years ago

    Wow, Heyman really going out on a limb with the Lee to the Yankees theory huh? lol

  12. In thinking about it why would Cliff Lee sign other than to appease all the media whom really want him to. He should wait for Andy Pettite’s decision. It will earn him possiblt 10-15 million more. Andy retires, trust me the Yankees are not going into the season with a rotation of CC/AJ/Hughes/?/?. Even if they sign someone like a De La Rosa or try a flier on a project for a 5th starter they need to sign a dominant starter. Lee can go from 7/155 to 7/165-170 because they will NEED him.

    • Slopeboy 5 years ago

      That sounds good,but it’s not quite right. Pettitte is most likely waiting on Lee’s decision before he announces his retirement as a favor to the Yankees. No one is prepared to give Lee, who is 33 years old a 7 year contract for $170MM. Many teams NEED Lee but no one is going to bid that type of money.

  13. for the Mets 2010 is all about building the farm system and letting old payroll expire, it will be tough for Met fans to suffer another non-playoff year but they have little options until 2011

    • cmat91 5 years ago

      Im thinking along the same lines. hopefully they can find trade candidates for beltran, ollie, and castillo and get some prospects. just scrape up what you can get. maybe a trade centered around Beltran for Garza? im not going to get into specifics but it would help both parties. you can try to sign brad hawpe for a one year contract and put him in right and put pagan in center and leave bay in left. thoughts?

  14. Slopeboy 5 years ago

    Sound reasonable. My point to Chris Vintila is that he’s dismissing other factors with Lee, which is understandable. The euphoria of winning can do that.

  15. moonraker45 5 years ago

    You’re under exaggerating the future contracts of certain players.

    Josh Hamilton will command 20+ million, CJ Wilson will command atleast 8-10

    if they sign lee, they will have about $50 tied up in 2 players, with an aging core who will continue to get more and more though arbitration.

  16. Posada and Jeter (production wise) are easily replacable.

    Posada’s defense has never been anything but average at best and has been below average/poor for quite some time, so even if the reports about Montero’s def are accurate it won’t change anything considering we’ve been dealing w/ Posada’s poor defense for quite some time. Prospects are obviously no guarantee but goodluck finding a report about Montero that doesn’t say he’s going to be a stellar offensive player for us, and there’s no possible way he can provide less production than we got out of the 500 or so innings Cervelli gave us, so save that entire argument.

    Saying that Phil Hughes has struggled to find consistency is entirely a product of his youth. Young pitchers are rarely consistently good, and this past year Hughes tanked when he began exceeding his career ips. Writing off Joba is equally as ignorant as everyone who proclaimed him as the savior a few years back …. you just can’t do it. He’s still relatively young. Am I saying hes going to be the next River? …. No, but I’m simply saying don’t write him off quite yet, his career numbers are still respectable given his age / pitching in the AL East.

    And finally, time will never run out on the Yankees as long as they are a billion dollar franchise reeling in huge profits year in and year out. As long as that’s the case, the Yankees will have the money to spend on Free Agents to plug in the holes. The fact that the Yankees are actually starting to successfully develop and maintain a farm system willl only ensure that they won’t fade away. Yes time may be runnign up for the core four, but time will never run out on the Yankee franchise as long as it’s constructed the way it is.

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