As Cliff Lee prepares to face the Yankees in the ALCS, he's trying not to think about his impending free agency, according to T.R. Sullivan and Bill Ladson. Still, Lee hinted to the MLB.com writers that winning the World Series with the Rangers this year would make it that much harder to leave Texas. Here are a few other links from around the league, as we count down the final 24 hours until the ALCS gets underway….
- The Astros removed three players from their 40-man roster, outrighting Brian Esposito, Anderson Hernandez, and Wladimir Sutil to Triple-A, according to a team release.
- Jeremy Hermida appreciates that the Athletics allowed him to reach free agency early in the offseason, says Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post asked Lance Berkman about the possibility of coming to Colorado for next season, and Berkman said he might be interested (Twitter links). Of course, the 34-year-old will be looking for an everyday role, and Todd Helton is still very much in the first base picture for the Rockies.
- In a separate tweet, Renck adds that even with Jarrod Saltalamacchia under contract, the Red Sox could still inquire on Chris Iannetta this winter.
- Fangraphs' Jack Moore argues that Paul Janish's play at shortstop should prompt the Reds to turn down Orlando Cabrera's 2011 option. Yesterday, over 80% of you opined that Cincinnati wouldn't exercise Cabrera's option.
- The Triple-A Portland Beavers will be sold to a group led by Padres owner Jeff Moorad, as J. Harry Jones of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes. If everything proceeds as planned, the club will play in Tucson in 2011 and then move permanently to Escondido in 2012, according to Jones and Josh Leventhal of Baseball America.