The Mariners and Cliff Lee will likely wait until the season ends before discussing a deal to keep the lefty in Seattle long-term, but both sides tell Jon Heyman of SI.com that such an agreement is possible. GM Jack Zduriencik said there’s “no doubt” he’d like to have Lee around after he hits free agency this offseason. And Lee can imagine extending his stay in Seattle, too.
"So far I like it a lot,'' Lee said. "Obviously, free agency is where you want to be as a player … I'm not going to rule anything out.''
Lee says the Phillies offered him a deal “close” to the three-year $60MM extension they gave Roy Halladay after trading for him. Heyman notes that Zduriencik tried to acquire Halladay before the Phillies did, only to discover that Doc didn’t want to join the Mariners. Here are a couple more rumors from Heyman:
- Mark Reynolds would like a two-year $18MM deal to cover his first two arbitration years. That's Prince Fielder money, but the D'Backs would prefer to pay him $13MM or so, which would be closer to what Dan Uggla made for the same stretch of his career.
- There has been no acrimony between the Twins and Joe Mauer. That's a good thing for Twins fans, but other than that we know very little about the negotiations.
That’s not the most ludicrous suggestion for Reynolds, given that Fielder accumulated 9.0 WAR in his first three seasons, compared to 8.0 for Reynolds.
But Fielder had a 50-homer season in his belt by then, while Reynolds has set the strikeout record in consecutive seasons. Reynolds’ entire argument is presumably based around his vastly superior defensive and baserunning value.
I agree. But also, factor in that Prince was a highly touted prospect, being 11th in all of baseball in 2006 (according to Baseball America), while Reynolds was 7th in the Diamondbacks organization in 2007 and didn’t crack the top 100 in baseball. And that Reynolds has only put up outstanding numbers for one season, while Prince has been raking since 2006.
I love the Sheriff, but if he wants Prince money, I say pass.
Lee left 60 million on the table. He stands to get a longer term contract after this year but if for some reason his performance goes into a decline or he has a major injury he will be very sorry. A big gamble indeed.
As a Mariner Fan I would love to see the M’s lock up Lee on a 3 or 4 year deal. But in order to do that they would have to push their Payroll to the 120M mark, which I think they have been reluctant to do since spending over 117M to lose 101 games in 08 (Bavasi). The Payroll for 09 was near 99M (Zduriencik) and this years might be under that mark. I think it’s going to take 18M-20M/YR to keep Lee in Seattle.
Not surprised Lee turned that down…it was different for Doc, who’s already made a ton of money in the bigs. Lee hasn’t. (relatively speaking of course)
As a Phils fan, i know I’ll never see Lee play for them again…which sucks, but I’m hoping the Mariners find a way to keep him. The chances he ends up in ny go WAAAY up if they can’t, and that’s the LAST thing i want to see.
“Zduriencik tried to acquire Halladay before the Phillies did, only to discover that Doc didn’t want to join the Mariners.”
Now THAT would have been a fearsome 1-2. Halladay is much, much more of a sure thing than Lee — especially moving from the AL East to Safeco of all places. For some reason, I still can’t shake the feeling that Lee is going through a phase and is about to regress to a 3.8 ERA guy.
Not sure if the Mariners will pay up if he performs well again in 2010. Sounds like he wants a pretty serious commitment.