Saturday, December 11, 2010
Yankees, Rangers Still Waiting on Cliff Lee
Chris Carlson - AP
The New York Yankees and Texas Rangers have made their offers to free agent left hander Cliff Lee and now both wait by their phones to see who wins his services.
But this isn't just any battle for a big time pitcher with post season experience. This has turned into a battle to see who's more desperate.
The New York Yankees have sat by and watched the Boston Red Sox bring in Adrian Gonzalez from the San Diego Padres via trade and sign free agent outfielder Carl Crawford.
To say the Yankees are behind the eight ball with this signing would be an understatement.
However, the Rangers are just as desperate at this point. They've made no other moves and while Nolan Ryan can tell the Dallas media that he's not going to get into a bidding war with the Yankees, that's exactly what he's done. They've put all of their eggs in Lee's basket, hoping he picks their basket over the Yankees.
The one thing the Rangers haven't done is gone to seven years, something the Yankees said they wouldn't do either but eventually got desperate enough to feel they needed to. SI.com's Jon Heyman reported, via Twitter, the Rangers were willing to go five or six years but seven was stretching beyond what they were comfortable with.
The Rangers do have a fall back option and presumably they've been looking into said option.
There have been reports that the Rangers are keeping Kansas City Royals' pitcher Zack Greinke as a fallback option assuming they lose out on Lee.
But they aren't the only team in on Greinke. According to Heyman the Nationals, Dodgers, Brewers and Blue Jays are also in the mix to acquire him.
While a decision isn't expected to come until Sunday, hopefully without a one hour "The Decision" special on ESPN, the teams are already looking into other options and assuming the worst. There are some, including on air personality Newy Scruggs from 105.3 FM in Dallas, was outspoken about the Rangers cutting their losses and moving on.
From the looks of things, it doesn't look like they were listening.
At this point in the process, the Yankees look to be the favorite to land Cliff Lee. They have more years and more money invested in their offer to Lee than the Rangers but Texas is hoping their proximity to his home in Arkansas and his wife's experience in New York this past post season will sway their decision.
But, as we all know, money talks. If that holds true in this case, Lee will be introduced as a new member of the New York Yankees.