The winter meetings finally start today which means it is finally game on for free agent lefty Cliff Lee. Unfortunately for the Yankees, the latest rumors don’t sound great for them.
Yesterday Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports had this:
Source: Lee has told former Rangers teammates a sixth year would bring him back to Texas.
Then early this morning Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated passed this along:
Buzz is Lee wants to stay with the Rangers. But one competing GM said, “Steinbrenners aren’t going to let Lee get away this time.”
Now these obviously aren’t things that the Yankees or their fans want to hear, but they are not necessarily as bad as they sound either. Part of an agents job is to get the most amount of guaranteed money as possible for a player. These almost sound as if they were leaked purposefully to drive up the price and years the Yankees will eventually pay.
It’s almost like a message to the Yankees. The first part, if you want Lee – you’d better be coming with at least six years. The second part, Lee would rather stay with the Rangers, if you want him you’d better being the money.
If you weren’t sure the Yankees were going to go hard after Lee, here is a quote from GM Brian Cashman yesterday:
“My priority list is pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching — I’ve been focusing on pitching,”