Via Buster Olney (Insider req’d), the Yankees are expected to make their first offer to Cliff Lee very soon, perhaps within the next 72 hours. Free agency officially opens at 12:01am Sunday morning, so eleven or so hours from now. Anthony McCarron backs Olney’s report up, for what it’s worth.
Unlike CC Sabathia, who the Yanks offered the largest pitching contract in history just as a starting point, the general belief is that they will not pursue Lee as aggressively. That’s not to say they don’t consider him a priority, but they’re just not as desperate as they were two winters ago. They can afford to make an initial offer that other clubs can presumably match, and go from there.