Owner Chuck Greenberg and the Rangers were slower to offer Cliff Lee a competitive deal than other interested clubs, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. Lee's camp wanted to keep the Rangers involved in the bidding, though they started with a 'lowball' offer before offering $100MM and, eventually, even more. The Rangers justified their lower offers by pointing out that Texas has no state income tax, but Lee asked around and determined that he wouldn't save that much, since he lives in Arkansas.
Talks between Lee and the Phillies broke off twice before the sides reached an agreement. If the Phillies hadn't completed the deal, the Yankees would have been seen as the favorites to sign the lefty, according to Heyman. Here are the rest of his rumors:
- One GM says Orlando Cabrera isn't being reasonable. "I don't think he gets the position he's in," the GM said, alluding to the lack of job openings remaining for the shortstop.
- The Rangers didn't show serious interest in Vernon Wells, according to Heyman.
- Executives around the game believe that Albert Pujols will sign an extension with the Cardinals. If the sides don't reach a deal by Spring Training, Pujols will be a free agent after the season, in which case the Cubs may be "best positioned" to pursue him, in the opinion of one executive.
- The Angels are still interested in signing or trading for a leadoff hitter. Scott Podsednik is out there, and could be a fit in L.A.
- One executive believes the Rangers will lose to Josh Hamilton if the sides go to an arbitration hearing. Heyman hears that the Rangers won't bring up Hamilton's history of substance abuse in a hearing. Keep track of all the remaining arbitration cases using our Arb Tracker.