Rangers officials have told friends that they expect the Yankees to offer Cliff Lee so many years that other teams will have to back off, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. But team president Nolan Ryan is expected to push aggressively for Lee's return, so it's far too early to rule Texas out. Here's the latest on the Yankees and the Mets:
- Carlos Beltran says he'd prefer to play center field, but is open to playing right, according to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo (on Twitter). Beltran also told reporters he would consider waiving his no-trade clause.
- Sherman predicts the Yankees will sign Lee to a five-year $125MM deal. The imagined contract would pay Lee $23MM for five seasons with a sixth year option for $25MM ($10MM buyout).
- The Yankees say they're extremely unlikely to pursue a free agent catcher, since they want to give their young catching a real chance to emerge in 2011 as Jorge Posada transitions to DH.
- Mark Simon of ESPNNewYork.com looks back at some recent contracts to prove that locking up pitchers to long-term deals is risky.
- The Yankees don't want to surrender a draft pick to sign a Type A free agent like Scott Downs, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff (on Twitter).
- It's unlikely that the Yankees will agree to a deal with Derek Jeter next week, according to Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com.
- There's been a lot of Moneyball talk about the Mets front office, but Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports believes Sandy Alderson, J.P. Ricciardi and Paul DePodesta are not about ideology. "This is about picking the right players and all of the different ways it can be done."
- Alderson interviewed Clint Hurdle and Don Wakamatsu at Citi Field yesterday, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Next up, the GM will interview Mets Triple-A manager Ken Oberkfell in the Dominican Republic.
- Omir Santos and Mike Hessman are free agents after refusing minor league assignments, according to Rubin (on Twitter).