The Yankees have made it no secret how much they like upcoming free agent LHP Cliff Lee. There have been rumors for months that he will be their biggest target this offseason and they even offered their top prospect, Jesus Montero, for him in a deal recently.
The Texas Rangers landed him at the last second instead, but that looked like it was almost good news. The Rangers didn’t have an owner at the time and it seemed that Lee was almost destined to be a free agent at that point. But not so fast. Now the new minority owner of the Rangers, Chuck Greenberg, is letting it be known that his team intends to try to resign Lee this offseason according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
“Let’s see what happens,” said Lee. “There’s a lot can happen between now and then, but, yeah, it’s nice to be wanted.
“I’ve got to take care of what I need to take care of between now and then. I have to help this team get to the postseason and the World Series. That’s the ultimate goal. I’m not too worried about the other stuff.”
Even if the Rangers do manage to resign Lee, he’ll likely at least hit the free agent market which would give the Yankees their chance to make him an offer. That will be a big offer too as the Yankees were mostly quiet last offseason only signing and trading for minor parts. That means they could have money in the bank waiting to be spent on Lee.
It should be noted that there could be cause for concern when it comes to Lee’s workload this season. Lee, soon to be 32, has pitched at least eight innings in 10 straight games and has gone at least seven innings in 14 straight games. Also, at this point, Texas appears to be a lock for making the playoffs and they are going to lean heavily on their rental player because they know that the chances they are going to outbid the Yankees for his services are small.
So it is possible that by this winter, Lee might not exactly be the same pitcher he is now.