Rangers TV Deal Might Not Help Them Sign Lee After All

Back in September I wrote an article about a TV deal that the Texas Rangers signed that was supposed to have left them flush with cash. Cash that they could have used to sign Cliff Lee.

Well it turns out that might not be the case. Here is more on it from Jayson Stark of ESPN:

For one thing, the new deal doesn’t kick in until 2015, when Lee would be in the fifth season of his next contract.

For another, Rumblings was told, the new Rangers ownership has already used a large chunk of the upcoming TV money, which it collected up front as a signing bonus, to help finance its purchase of the franchise.

And, finally, the Rangers are about to lose their status as a revenue-sharing taker, which was allowing them to collect $8 million to $15 million a year.

This is great news if you are Yankee fan hoping that they will sign Lee (aren’t we all?). It means that the Rangers will certainly have a finite amount of money to spend on him. They will have to be careful that they don’t spend too much and remove any future financial flexibility like they did when they signed Alex Rodriguez.

This is perhaps why the Yankees are not going all out to sign Lee the way they did with CC Sabathia. Maybe they knew this information and realize that they don’t have to go nuts. They can just sit back and see what the Rangers offer him and then just outbid that at the last minute.

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4 Responses to Rangers TV Deal Might Not Help Them Sign Lee After All

  1. Thanks for catching that guys.

    As for other suitors, Lee's agent said there are 7-8 teams that have already contacted him. The Red Sox and Angels are believed, but not confirmed, to be among those teams. I don't think it is that serious though as both teams seem to be targeting the big bats, Werth and Lee. I don't think either team really has the money to sign one of those guys and outbid the Yankees for Lee. They're probably just trying to drive up the price though.

    • Bronx Knight says:

      Yeah, I had heard about the agent's vague reference to other interested teams, but I can't think of any team which really needs a top starter AND has the money to compete with the Yanks.

  2. Bronx Knight says:

    Rob, I think in the first sentence of the last paragraph you meant to say that the Yankees are NOT going all out to sign Lee.

    Are there any other well-funded teams which might go after Lee, such as the Red Sox or the Angels?

    • Jaremy says:

      Was going to say the same thing :)

      Also wondering about other potential suitors. I'm sure it won't stop at the Rangers, but I think the Red Sox are out of the race- their entire rotation is returning, and are either too good (Lester, Buchholz, Beckett) or too expensive (Lackey, Matsuzaka) to relegate to the bullpen. Only way I can see them picking up Lee is if they trade Buchholz/Lester for Adrian Gonzalez or something.