Cliff Lee Rumors: Monday

Yesterday we learned that the Nationals are out of the Cliff Lee sweepstakes and that the Yankees will not increase their offer again.  Multiple reporters have suggested Lee will decide this week.  If you believe in the mystery team, the lefty may have three legitimate suitors.  Otherwise, it's just the Yankees and Rangers.  The top bullets have the latest:

  • It's hard to find executives who expect Lee to re-sign in Texas, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter).
  • One member of the Phillies organization has said to Jack Curry of the YES Network that Lee isn't in the same class as C.C. Sabathia and Roy Halladay and would be a riskier signing (Twitter link).
  • A decision is unlikely tonight, but could come tomorrow, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
  • The Yankees are now "extremely negative" about landing Lee and they believe he is leaning toward the Phillies' offer, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter).
  • There is a belief Lee is heading to the Phillies, according to Jack Curry of the YES Network (on Twitter). Meanwhile, Jon Heyman of says the Phils "look like a very strong candidate to win Lee's services" (Twitter link).
  • Lee moved closer to a decision tonight, according to’s Jerry Crasnick. The Phillies entered the bidding for Lee after the winter meetings and have presented the lefty with “a spirited late bid,” Crasnick writes.
  • The Phillies, Yankees and Rangers are finalists for Lee, who appears to be close to deciding on a team, according to Jim Salisbury of (on Twitter).
  • The Phillies are looking to unload Joe Blanton and the $17MM that remains on his contract through 2012, according to Jon Heyman of (Twitter link).
  • The Phillies are still bidding on Lee, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. declined to comment, but a source told Rosenthal that the team is "not out."
  • Lee has yet to make a decision, Yankees GM Brian Cashman told Tyler Kepner of the New York Times (on Twitter). "He'll make [a decision] someday," Cashman said.
  • There are still rumblings about a third team, according to Jon Heyman of (on Twitter). The mystery team's offer appears to be significantly lower than the Yankees' proposal, but it's from a place Lee "loves."
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes, "You would be surprised at how many folks [in the game] think there is a legitimate third team bidding on Lee beyond the Yankees and Rangers."  Sherman speculates on who that team might be.  Less than a third of you believe such a club exists.
  • Lee's agent Darek Braunecker has been in touch with the Yankees today, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney, and he said the process is ongoing.
  • The unidentified third team is only willing to go four or five years, writes George A. King III of the New York Post.

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