An industry source said Monday the Yankees have offered Cliff Lee nearly $140 million over six years, but Lee continues to hold out for a seventh year. Neither Lee’s camp nor the Yankees would confirm those numbers. The Boston Globe has reported the Yankees offered as much as $120 million over five years.
The question I have about this rumor is that Brown himself doesn’t seem certain of it. Also, it seems like a big jump going from five-years and $120 million to six-years in $140 million in just two days. On top of it there doesn’t seem to be other offers out there for him which essentially means the Yankees would be bidding against themselves.
Instead I have a feeling there could have been something lost in translation and the Yankees could be willing to go to six-years and $140 eventually. At this point though it just seems a bit premature.
Of course the underlying factor here is that the Yankees are being very aggressive in the bidding. At first it seemed that they could wait until the end, but now it appears that they are jumping out in front of the bidding. Maybe they’re taking the scare tactic route after all by trying to bid early to discourage other teams from bidding.
Maybe they’re even doing this so because things aren’t going well with Derek Jeter and afterward they can turn to Jeet and claim that they are up against a budget.