The Yankees were quick in contacting free agent ace Cliff Lee, but signing him won’t go quite so fast.
“Historically, these deals take some time,” Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker told the Daily News in a telephone interview Monday. “When you look at the calendar and we’re already into the second week of November; we don’t handicap the timing of this stuff, but we don’t anticipate this happening too quickly.”
“There aren’t a whole lot of market factors that are necessarily going to influence Cliff’s negotiations,” Braunecker said, explaining the lack of urgency on his part to rush any talks. “There’s not anybody else out there that’s going to have any bearing on what we do with Cliff, at least from our perspective.”
“Our conversations have been what we anticipated to this point; it’s early-stage dialogue with a number of interested parties,” the agent said. “We’re truly at the beginning stages here. When this deal gets done is anybody’s guess.”
Further Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports passed along information that seven to eight teams are interested in Lee’s services. He listed the Yankees and Rangers as favorites with the Phillies and Dodgers as two other teams. The Nationals have already publicly expressed their interested and it is believed that the Red Sox and Angels could get involved as well.
With very few, if any, quality starters on the market Lee’s agent is likely right that there are not many other factors that will come into play here. So there isn’t a lot of risk that his price will go down. So there isn’t a lot of reason to think this will end quickly. They’ve got a lot of teams to talk to and a there will be a lot of negotiations taking place. It’s not unimaginable to think this could go to Christmas.
Get ready for a long roller coaster ride.