Yankees Increase Offer to Cliff Lee

Yesterday the Yankees seemed comfortable with their offer to Cliff Lee which was supposedly for about six-years and $140 million. But then the Red Sox upped the ante by signing Carl Crawford.

That put pressure on the Yankees because it took away their backup plan and also introduced the Angels as a serious bidder for Lee. The Red Sox are also expected to be much better now and that too puts pressure on the Yankees to improve.

So, according to multiple sources, that forced the Yankees to increase their offer to Lee from six years to seven. They haven’t just increased their offer though. According to Joel Sherman of the NY Post, the Yankees have given Lee several options.

The first option is a five-year deal worth about $125 million, the second is a six-year $144 million deal and finally there is a seven-year $161 million offer. That essentially breaks down to a $25 mil AAV, a $24 mil AAV, and $23 mil AAV offers respectively.

Later on in the day Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports confirmed that the Angels have indeed gotten involved in the Lee sweepstakes. Though it came out yesterday that their top offer to Crawford was $100 million so they may not be looking to outspend the Yankees here. Also, a bat seems to be their biggest need so it is possible that they will more seriously persue Adrian Beltre instead of Lee.

The Rangers responded to all of this by asking Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker to “tell them what it would take to sign” Lee. Of course that’s not how it works and Lee’s agent responded in kind. The two sides are meeting today though and are likely discussing increasing the original offer.

Supposedly Lee will use the weekend to decide where he wants to pitch next season. The offers are all on the table. It seems hard to imagine they’ll be upped again from any of these three teams and other teams seem unlikely to get involved either due to the extreme prices, but at this point anything can happen.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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2 Responses to Yankees Increase Offer to Cliff Lee

  1. Bronx Knight says:

    Reading between the lines, it sounds like the Rangers can't or don't want to match the Yankees' heaviest offers, so they've in essence asked Lee how much he would be willing to accept for the privilege of playing in North Texas. Sounds like a desperate ploy, but it's better than giving up, and, who knows, sometimes players will settle for less than top dollar in order to stay where their heart is (see: Mariano Rivera's 2011-12 renewal with Yanks).

    So, Cliff Lee's from Arkansas, next door to North Texas, and some idiot Yankees fans spit at his wife during the playoffs. So maybe he chooses to stick with the Rangers.

    But I'm feeling a little bit better right now cuz I think he'll go with the most money.

  2. Jaremy says:

    This is Lee's one shot at a payday. Would be surprised if he took a 20 mill discount to stay in Texas…

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