The waiting game continues as the Yankees and Rangers hold their collective breath in the wake of Cliff Lee’s looming decision of who he play for over the next six or seven years.
Both teams know that Lee is a difference maker and will be paid accordingly.
According to SI’s Jon Heyman, the Yankees have a big advantage in terms of money and also have a seventh year. But he is also quick to point out that despite the Rangers offering less money and only six years, they do play just four hours away from Lee’s home in Arkansas.
Lee has known about these offers for a few days now, and has had a little time to decide where he will take his services next year and beyond, but the longer it takes, the more it seems to me that he is leaning towards Texas.
Of course that is just my opinion, and it goes against everything that we have been hearing about Lee, that he is all about the money and length of contract and that he would play for the highest bidder.
But if he were to return to the Rangers, it would hurt the Yankees in several ways.
The first one is the most obvious and that is the fact that the Red Sox have upgraded their offense in a big way by signing Carl Crawford and trading for Adrian Gonzalez, while the Yankees have basically the same team as last year.
So if Lee doesn’t sign with the Yankees, they will have missed out on pretty much all the big name free agents and the Sox will look a lot better on paper as they head into the season.
Another aspect that has been overlooked by many is Andy Pettitte. All cares about is winning another ring, he’s not coming back for the money or the personal stats, just for another shot at postseason glory. And if he feels the Yankees don’t have a good enough team to win the World Series, then I believe he will retire.
Signing Lee would certainly put the Yankees in a better position to win it all, and I think that Pettitte would come back if they do sign Lee. If they don’t get Pettitte or Lee,then the Yankees are kind of in a bind, because they would need to find two starting pitchers for next year.
Any way you slice the pie, it’s plain and simple, Lee or bust.