Cliff Lee Rumors: Sunday

We checked in earlier today on the top free agent hitter, Carl Crawford. Now, let's round up the latest updates on the market's top pitcher….

  • Lee told teammates that he would return to the Rangers if they offer him a sixth year, sources tell Tim Brown of Yahoo (via Twitter).
  • Jon Heyman of SI (via Twitter) hears that Texas will not offer six years to Lee but expects the Yankees to do so.
  • The Nats are a longshot to land Lee, GM Mike Rizzo told MLB.com's Bill Ladson (via Twitter).
  • The Yankees have yet to make a formal proposal to Lee and his agent Darek Braunecker is hoping to get a deal done in Orlando, says Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter links).
  • It still looks like a two-horse race for Cliff Lee, who has been visited in person twice by the Rangers and once by the Yankees, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. "It appears the Rangers will draw the line at five years for the 32-year-old lefthander," Cafardo says. "But the Yankees could put it over the top with a sixth year."
  • An AL exec explains to Joel Sherman of the New York Post why the Yanks are the favorites: "There is no Plan B that is acceptable [when it comes to upgrading a rotation that needs to be upgraded]. They have looked around and know it is worthwhile to spend what they must to fix what is broken."
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports isn't necessarily buying that there are only two clubs seriously in on Lee.
  • Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News breaks down the kind of offer the Rangers could make to keep Lee in Texas.


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84 Comments on "Cliff Lee Rumors: Sunday"


4 years 8 months ago

Cliff is going to sign with the yankees, 6/140 is my prediction at the end of this week or the beginning of next week.

4 years 8 months ago

I might be the only Yankee fan on planet earth who thinks it wouldn’t be the end of the world if we didn’t get him. We’re going to overpay, over-commit, and, yeah, the guy’s been durable and consistent, but a trick back doesn’t magically get better with each pitch, either. It’s not inconceivable that we could have just finished watching the last great season that Cliff Lee will ever have — and *then* what? With the Yankees prepared to have him on the payroll for six more years? Could be 1983 all over again.

My advice to Cash would be to make a fair offer for the guy and, if someone else wants to overpay, concede next year’s playoffs by letting him go.

churumba
4 years 8 months ago

LOL are there any players the Yanks don’t overpay? Burnett *cough* comes to mind.

strikethree
4 years 8 months ago

Except the Braves were willing to offer a similar deal for Burnett.

Most FAs are overpaid in terms of dollars to actual returns.

A better example of overpaying is when the Yankees gave a monstrous contract to Arod even though there probably wasn’t a similar deal in the market at the time.

MB923
4 years 8 months ago

Brett Gardner isn’t overpaid (yet), he makes minimum wage. And I don’t think Cano is heavily overpaid (yet), he made $9 million

Jeter. Hell NO he is not overpaid!!!!!!!!!! /sarcasm

churumba
4 years 8 months ago

LOL are there any players the Yanks don’t overpay? Burnett *cough* comes to mind.

4 years 8 months ago

That would be true, but the thing is when are you going to get the team improved in their rotation. Unless of course you trust 2012 in the hands of Bentances, Banuelos, Brackman, etc. Then you could have the rotation the yankees had where there was Kennedy, Hughes, and Joba all in one which was terrible.

4 years 8 months ago

That would be true, but the thing is when are you going to get the team improved in their rotation. Unless of course you trust 2012 in the hands of Bentances, Banuelos, Brackman, etc. Then you could have the rotation the yankees had where there was Kennedy, Hughes, and Joba all in one which was terrible.

MadmanTX
4 years 8 months ago

Would it matter if they overpaid? The Yankees are pretty much the one team that can buy any player it wants and eat the contract without even belching. Apparently, a payroll of a billion dollars a year wouldn’t even make them blink if you believe all the stories about their infinite resources.

Slopeboy
4 years 8 months ago

Yankees don’t really have a viable plan B on the board. So what’s yours?

tiger313
4 years 8 months ago

6/120-130. 140 is a bit much.

4 years 8 months ago

Of course it’s too much, but when you have to make sure you get your guy, and there’s another team (Texas) who wants him a whole lot also, you’re going to have to pay more then you would like.

4 years 8 months ago

Of course it’s too much, but when you have to make sure you get your guy, and there’s another team (Texas) who wants him a whole lot also, you’re going to have to pay more then you would like.

Yankeefan4life
4 years 8 months ago

Tell me something I didn’t know.

jeter2blue
4 years 8 months ago

Get it done Cash!

jeter2blue
4 years 8 months ago

Get it done Cash!

4 years 8 months ago

isn’t lee 32? do you really want to pay him 20 million dollars when he is 38?

4 years 8 months ago

I sure don’t.

4 years 8 months ago

I sure don’t.

Brad426
4 years 8 months ago

WANT to? No. But if you want a legitimate ace off the free agent market and want to make sure you get him, you have to overpay him.

nictonjr
4 years 8 months ago

Of course you don’t want to. Structure the deal so you’re not paying a 38 yeqar old pitcher $20 mil. Assuming 6/140:

30
30
25
25
20
10

Now you’re paying a 38 year old $10 mil…

4 years 8 months ago

You wanna pay Cliff $30 Million for 2 years? (making him by far the highest paid player in baseball) LOL! That is hilarious. The first five years of your deal are terrible. Roy Halladay is only getting $20 Million a year over the next three. You propose paying $25 million more for that same time frame.

Lee is a really good pitcher. $25 million/yr is over paying him by a few million. I would try to give him $23 mill/yr at the most for 5 years and if a six is needed, under $20 million when he is 38. 6yr/130M is the absolute most that anyone should overpay for him. Right now the highest annual salary for a pitcher is $23 million (Sabathia). Lee isn’t one of the top five pitchers and he pitches poorly in the WS.

nictonjr
4 years 8 months ago

It was just a solution to paying Lee $20+ mil as a 38 year old. Is it better to pay him 6 years @ $25 mil per year or my payout scenario??

4 years 8 months ago

Lee pitches “poorly” in the World Series? Oh really? Seems to me he didn’t pitch too badly against the Yankees in the 2009 World Series when he was with Philly. Yeah, he had a bad start in Game 1 against the Giants this year for Texas, but he didn’t pitch badly in Game 5. Just got outpitched by Lincecum.

iicristianii
4 years 8 months ago

A-rod’s deal is structured that way he made 30 mil this year and it decreases as the contract goes down. So paying lee that much is not a big deal he’s gonna get the money either way and remember this is a team that can eat up contracts. i’m not saying his deal was good I just mean they can do it n a way similar to that to benefit them in the long run.

4 years 8 months ago

You wanna pay Cliff $30 Million for 2 years? (making him by far the highest paid player in baseball) LOL! That is hilarious. The first five years of your deal are terrible. Roy Halladay is only getting $20 Million a year over the next three. You propose paying $25 million more for that same time frame.

Lee is a really good pitcher. $25 million/yr is over paying him by a few million. I would try to give him $23 mill/yr at the most for 5 years and if a six is needed, under $20 million when he is 38. 6yr/130M is the absolute most that anyone should overpay for him. Right now the highest annual salary for a pitcher is $23 million (Sabathia). Lee isn’t one of the top five pitchers and he pitches poorly in the WS.

Brad426
4 years 8 months ago

Teams tend to like to back-load deals, not front-load them. They would rather keep their money in the bank earning interest than give it to the players up front.

nictonjr
4 years 8 months ago

See ARod contract. The Yanks have already done one that pays the player $12 mil less the last year compared to the second year…

Brad426
4 years 8 months ago

Teams tend to like to back-load deals, not front-load them. They would rather keep their money in the bank earning interest than give it to the players up front.

Brad426
4 years 8 months ago

WANT to? No. But if you want a legitimate ace off the free agent market and want to make sure you get him, you have to overpay him.

4 years 8 months ago

isn’t lee 32? do you really want to pay him 20 million dollars when he is 38?

SneakyLongBalls
4 years 8 months ago

Again, with less than a .5% chance of this happening, what if the Jays offer 4/110?
Then flip Drabek + another top prospect for 1B or OF they need
Yes, I realize this is just video game type thing!lol

4 years 8 months ago

I’d rather have Drabek than Cliff Lee. Dude is not going to be that good for that much longer. And he was not good at all in the regular season with Texas.

Rangers13
4 years 8 months ago

don’t say stupid stuff. he was UNBELIEVABLE in the regular season. he is a gem. whoever gets him is lucky

Dylan
4 years 8 months ago

Evertime I hear drabek I die a little inside. But then again, we now have Halladay, but still….I really liked Kyle.

m4r1n3r
4 years 8 months ago

It’s not Cliff’s fault the Rangers gave him crap run support. The Mariners…that’s right… the Mariners gave Cliff Lee better overall run support than the Rangers did.

JohnnyHamer
4 years 8 months ago

As an Oriole’s fan: GET THIS DONE TEXAS !

MB923
4 years 8 months ago

You know what should get done? Putting the Orioles, Royals, Pirates and I guess the Nationals, in 1 division lol

MadmanTX
4 years 8 months ago

It is all a question now if this turns out that Lee seriously is considering Texas or if this is another Beltran situation with a player teasing the Texas team because he really wants to play in New York. Lee knows the Yankees will offer him more. He has to decide (and the union too, I guess) if he is willing to leave potentially a year and some millions to stay close to home in Texas. I hope he does, but as a fan of Texas baseball, my brain tells me this might all be deja vu.

m4r1n3r
4 years 8 months ago

If the Rangers are smart they will give Lee what he wants.

4 years 8 months ago

So what if Cliff Lee wants to be the highest paid pitcher of all time, you want them to do that

m4r1n3r
4 years 8 months ago

Yep. He’s worth it.

4 years 8 months ago

You must be on something then

m4r1n3r
4 years 8 months ago

Hey did you hear new management isn’t opposed to increasing the payroll? Cliff Lee is special man. If the Rangers don’t want him the Yankee’s will give him what he wants.

4 years 8 months ago

hey, El Caballo 626, check out his name m4r1n3r, l33t for mariner. He has ulterior motive for the Rangers to spend as much as Cliff Lee wants

m4r1n3r
4 years 8 months ago

😉

4 years 8 months ago

I don’t see Cliff Lee signing till around Christmas day

MB923
4 years 8 months ago

I didn’t click the link about the No Plan B for the Yankees, but there’s only one thing I can think of if they don’t get Lee. Sign Crawford, trade Granderson or Swisher for a solid starter and unfortunately be stuck with that as the rotation. Plus it’s very important for Pettitte to make his decision ASAP.

wickedkevin
4 years 8 months ago

SIGN HIM RIZZO!!!

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 8 months ago

The Nats are a longshot to land Lee, GM Mike Rizzo told MLB.com‘s Bill Ladson

I’m sure he thought the same thing about Werth.

wickedkevin
4 years 8 months ago

Everyone has been bashing and doubting them all offseason.

Wrek305
4 years 8 months ago

I say Lee stays in Rangers.. they have plenty of money and they actually want him .. The Yankees want him to buy then a WS and so he doesn’t dominate them in the Playoffs if the Yankees make it. I mean just face it the Yankees are just not that good. there a about 5-6 teams better then them.. Rangers. Red Sox, Phillies, Rays, Cardinals,

4 years 8 months ago

First off, You say that the Rangers have plenty of money, but it is only the Yankees want to buy him to make it to the World Series? Seems a bit like a double standard. Second, saying that without Cliff Lee, the Rangers are better than the Yankees makes me laugh. Even with the acquisition of Adrian Gonzalez, the Red Sox lost V Mart and still have a lot more to prove than the Yankees do. The Rays are losing three of their star players (possibly) and will be hard pressed to find players to match their numbers. The Cardinals are a good team that has thrived in a mediocre division, but couldn’t contend in the AL East. It is hard to argue against the Phillies, who probably have the best team on paper at the moment, but we’ve all seen how that works out.

4 years 8 months ago

I don’t think PatchJohnson was serious. He was probably just trying to get a rise.

I agree with you though, if the Cardinals were in the AL East, they would likely being slugging it out with Toronto for 4th place. That is not a knock on the Cardinals either.

Wrek305
4 years 8 months ago

V-Mart is good but not great Salty(too long of a name to spell) if given the chance is and will be better the V-Mart

4 years 8 months ago

Victor Martinez was one of the best offensive catchers in the game. He utterly blew behind the plate, but you can’t expect the combination of Jason Varitek and Saltalamacchia to put up close to what he could offensively this season. The Red Sox will be better than last year, because they probably won’t have as many injuries, but you can’t disregard the gap in offensive production that is going to come from the catcher position.

HipNip2009
4 years 8 months ago

If the Yankees sign Lee, the hot dogs will cost $10, beer $15, bottled water $8, peanuts $10…on and on. The souvenirs will cost a fortune, too, in that overpriced shop of theirs.

The madness continues, and Yankee fans (or is it suckers?) continue to pony up the money. The owner of my company paid for 4 season tickets last year just behind the right field fence, at $75 a pop per game, or around $25 grand. When I was growing up, those seats were called bleacher seats !!

They have raised ticket prices, too. The average Joe can no longer take his kids to a Yankee game. It’s a nice stadium, but be prepared to empty your wallet when you go there.

4 years 8 months ago

There are actually a bunch of seats for under $20. They are seats that are really desirable (nosebleed upper deck, back of the bleachers) but you can get a family of 4 in for under $100 if you need to. It just depends if you are willing to compromise to be there. I go to a few games each year and it doesn’t break the bank, but I only pay for at most two tickets since I’m just a young man and don’t have the burden of a family yet.

4 years 8 months ago

My girlfriend and I go for about $100 total, and that includes 2 train tickets from CT and dinner at the game. I don’t think that is bad at all considering they are putting out a championship caliber team every year.

4 years 8 months ago

I should say, that is a non-Red Sox game, $150 if it is a game vs the Sox.

leoujr
4 years 8 months ago

Cliff Lee is a baby compared to NYY 35yr old third baseman, 36yr old shortstop, 39yr old catcher and 41yr old closer. If NYY don’t get Lee, they are in for trouble in that division. Don’t think the Rays won’t still compete. BOS will be ready to kick butt; TOR and BAL will be much improved. NYY is gonna be waving at all those guys as they pass each other on the hill; only with the direction the Yanks are headed, there won’t be any traffic. If they don’t get Lee, it’s gonna be a long season. You think Andy will pitch for a LEE-less Yanks. Doubt it, seriously. If you were LEE and you were honestly assessing your chances over the next 3-4 yrs. about making playoffs and World Series,…Yankees…Really?

4 years 8 months ago

Better chance than the Rangers? Absolutely. I would bet the house that over the next 5 years, the Yankees make more playoff appearances than the Rangers.

The Yankees have always had an old, veteran team that is overpaid and they still have made the playoffs in 15 of the last 16 seasons. With the exception of the left side of the infield, all of the players on that field are in their prime or still approaching it. Posada is DH’ing and Rivera is the last person to worry about on that team.

leoujr
4 years 8 months ago

Dude, compare the two divisions! Yanks didn’t even win that division last year, in only a two team race.

4 years 8 months ago

7 of the last 8 wild cards have been from the AL East. They are basically playing for 2 playoff spots in that division because they beat up on the other divisions so much. So in a 2 team race, you are in pretty good shape.

More importantly, the Yankees have shown they will do whatever it takes to improve the team every offseason. Like I said above, there is a reason the Yankees have made the playoffs in 15 of the last 16 years, and it wasn’t just good luck. If the Rangers sign Cliff Lee and also hope to keep Hamilton long term, they will have very little wiggle room to fix holes.

leoujr
4 years 8 months ago

With what the Tigers and White Sox are doing, not so sure the East is
where the wild card will come from. Again, teams in the east are gonna
beat up on each other, with weak sisters being in other divisions. The
east will be better top to bottom
(excepting NYY); Central will be better at the top. West belongs to
Texas. Lead pipe cinch, Lee or no Lee.

Not sayin NYY won’t be formidable next season; but I do see chinks in
the armour going forward over the next few seasons (even for next year),

leoujr
4 years 8 months ago

Hamilton long term is risky; he’s fragile, and you never know when
he’ll fall off the wagon again. Couple more years under contract then
take your chances.

leoujr
4 years 8 months ago

How big is your house?

4 years 8 months ago

It isn’t that big haha.

ultimate913
4 years 8 months ago

lol. That is all I have to say.

leoujr
4 years 8 months ago

wow….profound. Well thought out.

4 years 8 months ago

It’s going to be interesting to see if the Rangers offer him the sixth year in order to get Lee. I think Lee is using this as leverage to get the Yankees to offer him a seventh, but at that point I think Cash would walk away. Hmmm…going to be interesting.

S.r
4 years 8 months ago

I am postive he will sign with the yankes. I still think the rangers hv a fair shot. Cliff lee really seems to like texas

TXHC
4 years 8 months ago

For God’s sake just give him the sixth year and get it over with.

4 years 8 months ago

I think if the Rangers went 6, it would be at a much lower annual average than what the Yankees would be willing to give. The Yankees would have no problem with 6/150 considering what their Plan B is.

TXHC
4 years 8 months ago

Well, according to Tim Brown’s latest tweet it wouldn’t necessarily matter.”Source: Lee has told former Rangers teammates a sixth year would bring him back to Texas.”

4 years 8 months ago

You are right, Tweets should be taken as fact.If the Rangers offer 6/120 and the Yankees offer 6/150 where do you think Lee will go? And don’t give the income tax argument, he will make so much more in endorsements by being a Yankee that it will be a wash. Even Girardi has a Taco Bell commercial.Honestly, for better or worse, I think the Yanks would go 7 if that is what it took. Like Joel Sherman pointed out, the plan B for the Yankees is so crappy compared to getting Lee that they might as well pay the extra money, especially when you already have $200M invested in your product.

TXHC
4 years 8 months ago

You’re assuming all that is true. I’m not saying the Tweet is fact, but if he indeed did tell his Rangers teammates that if the Rangers offer 6 years he’ll be back then it really doesn’t matter what the Yankees offer. Maybe he doesn’t care if they give him 10 years $300 million. Maybe it’s not 100% about whether or not he’ll be the highest paid pitcher of all time. He’s going to make a ton regardless, maybe he just wants to be guaranteed at least 6 years from the Rangers because that’s where he really wants to be and if they give it to him he’ll stay. Fact is we don’t know.

yankees92
4 years 8 months ago

He’s going for whoever the highest bidder is. Do you really think has allegiance to any team after the way hes been tossed around from team to team over the past few years? No doubt he is going for the payday. I’m a Yankees fan and would love to get him but I think he is simply going to the highest bidder.

TXHC
4 years 8 months ago

Well, we’ll see.

leoujr
4 years 8 months ago

If 6 will do it, go 6. Then ship Hunter or Lewis, Borbon &/or Davis, and Scheppers or Holland to KC for Grienke. Then extend Grienke.

4 years 8 months ago

Lewis? forreal? sigh…

leoujr
4 years 8 months ago

If KC gives up a big league starter, you’d think they’d want at least
one in return. If not Lewis, then Hunter. I’ll be happy to keep Lewis
for the next couple of seasons; Rangers still got Feldman also. They
either give him a chance to bounce back, or throw him in on the offer.