Via The USA Today:
The Rangers, cash-strapped for years with owner Tom Hicks, have signed a 20-year extension with Fox Sports Southwest that will guarantee them $3 billion, according to three high-ranking baseball officials, two of whom have seen the contract. All spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the deal.
It is the highest TV package for a team that doesn’t own its own channel. And yes, that’s $150 million a year before even playing a game, plenty enough to re-sign ace Cliff Lee, bring in free-agent outfielder Carl Crawford, or whoever else they wish.
That’s quite a load of money for the Rangers to come into. You have to wonder what Tom Hicks, the billionaire former owner who had to file chapter 11 and give up the team, is thinking.
Some people seem to think it is a forgone conclusion that the Yankees will land Lee, but the Rangers have already said publicly that they are going to go hard after him. With this extra cash, they should be able to make a sizable offer.
Luckily for the Yankees, Lee seems determined to test the free agent market so they will have their chance to make him an offer. If the Rangers are serious about keeping him in the fold they certainly could force the Yankees to bid seriously. It’s hard to imagine a $200 million pitcher, but they might wind up having to over pay quite a bit.
Get ready because CC Sabathia might not be the highest paid pitcher on the Yankees next year.