Sunday night Lee rumor round-up


As the Winter Meetings kick off, the rumors are flying. For Yankee fans, Cliff Lee will be our guy of the week. Already we have news. Jon Heyman reports that the Rangers won’t go to six years for Lee. Meanwhile, Yahoo’s Tim Brown says that Lee would return to Texas if they guarantee him a sixth year. If that’s not an agent looking for guaranteed years and dollars, I don’t know what is.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League
  • John

    So what could us Yankee fans take out of that? Nervous?

    • FIPster Doofus

      It’s just a late attempt to drive up Lee’s price even more.

    • Benjamin Kabak

      Maybe a tad nervous but it’s a negotiating tactic really. He’ll sign where the dollars are.

  • Rick

    Now that the Gonzalez trade is official, we’re gonna need all the pitching we can get. Let’s have Cliff signed early in the winter meetings and focus on rounding out the roster.

    • candyforstalin

      overreaction ship: all aboard.

      • Rick

        Not overreaction at all. Pitching combats good offense and right now the Yanks don’t have nearly enough pitching depth. Every team in the division will be improved this year, Gonzalez is just one example cited.

        • bexarama

          Every team in the division will be improved this year

          I know what you mean but… Tampa Bay?

          • Rick

            Well you do have me there my friend. It would be quite difficult to improve with the players they’ve lost.

      • Big Stein


        sure the sox gained AGon, but they loss Casey Kelly, which is a devastating blow.

        • Jorge

          “I can’t live if living is without Casey Kelly.” – the late Harry Nilsson.

        • Plank

          Hopefully Youk can’t hack it at third anymore and they have a logjam at 1B/DH and no third baseman.

  • Chris

    I don’t see the big deal in this rumor that he would return to Texas if they offered him six years. Does that mean if the Yankees offered him six years and equal or more money he wouldn’t go to New York? I doubt that is the case.

    • Rick

      On a pure state income tax basis, the Yankees cannot offer the same deal as Texas because it wouldn’t be worth as much.

      • Chris

        Oh, that’s right, I didn’t even think of that. Thanks for pointing it out.

        Still, my point is that some people are making it sound like if Texas offers Lee a sixth year the deal is done. I find it hard to believe that Lee’s agent won’t check in with the Yankees one more time right before signing any potential deal.

        • Rick

          I certainly agree with you on that. If the Yanks offer six with a higher AAV equating to more total dollars, I doubt he’d go to Texas simply because they offered a sixth year

  • bonestock94

    Somewhat scary

  • ZZ

    Yahoo’s Tim Brown says that Lee would return to Trexas if they guarantee him a sixth year.


    Dear Brian Cashman. Offer me 6 years. Thanks.

    • mike c

      smart move

    • bexarama

      As I said on the other thread:

      Source: Let’s see how much money and how many years I can get the Yankees to offer for my client, mwahahahaha

    • Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

      Good, I hope Trexas gets him, as long as Nolan Ryan’s Texas Rangers are left gutting the garbage afterwards

      • seimiya

        And then, because they are unable to pay his contract, they have to trade him to us.


  • Jonnysaysrelax

    Remember these are sources and if the Yanks offer the most money he would be pressured by the MLBPA to take it

  • Big Stein

    Plan B: if Yanks don’t sign Lee

    Trade Cano and Jesus for Casey Kelly.

    • Ray the Anti-Handle

      That is a gross overpayment. Casey Kelly is a washed-up, back-of-the-AAA-rotation type guy.

      Yours truly,

      Peter Gammons

      • Big Stein

        Poor Casey.

        In one weekend he went from being a can’t miss first round ballot Hall-of-Famer, the living embodiment of Roy Hobbs to a dead-end quirky project.

        I hope his return to complete anonymity isn’t too much of a come-down.

    • JGS

      Way too much. Kelly stinks


      • JobaWockeeZ

        The death of the Casey Kelly best pitcher ever meme has died. I feel sad a little bit.

        • Total Dominication

          In it’s place though, the prospect slide is a great meme.

  • Big Stein

    Ironically, Cam Newton told his teammates he’d return to Auburn if they offer an additional guaranteed year. :)

  • Jonnysaysrelax

    Does this whole state income tax and proximity to Arkansas angle seem a little ridiculous at all to any of you? A player is gonna stay in his teams town and be on the road for 6-7 months so the proximity can’t be that big of a deal and not to mention it isn’t as if NY and Arkansas are on two different sides of the world or something. It seems like every year the media comes up with something to make it look like the Yanks wont get their guy.

    • Rick

      Well the state income tax is a legit factor however it’s overstated with a player like Lee because he could easily make that up in endorsements in the NY market. The projection by Forbes pertaining to his endorsement deals grossly outweighs the difference in state income tax.

    • Big Stein

      why would anyone want to live in arkansas when they could live in a penthouse overlooking Manhattan.

      • Rick

        To you and I that would be difficult to comprehend. He’s not going out in his backyard (wouldn’t even have one) in NY and going hunting though.

        • pat

          $150 million buys you a lot of homeless people, and Central Park has some pretty quiet corners….

          • Accent Shallow

            Pat is planning my bachelor party, if I’m ever fortunate/dumb enough to get married.

            • pat

              It’ll make the Hangover look like House Party 2 !!!

              /cross referenced

    • Kit

      It does seem ridiculous, specifically the distance thing. It’s not like Cliff will be driving home. Texas isn’t a small state, it takes hours to drive out of it, so he’d be taking a plane anyway. And I’m not sure if I’m remembering this correctly or if I misinterpreted what I read, but I distinctly remember Derek being able to not pay taxes in NY because he was a permanent Florida resident, despite living in NY during the baseball season. Again, I may be mistaken, but it seems like it is really ridiculous.

      • Rick

        Didn’t Jeter just got hit with a ton of back taxes? He tried to say he’s a florida resident and only works in the city but that didn’t fly with the city.

        • Kit

          I wasn’t sure what the whole story was, and I kind of just heard the first part (and really belatedly at that), so I can’t say if I’m accurate or not.

      • Jonnysaysrelax

        I think you’re right. He could also live in NJ like CC. In fact remember when Lee thought he was gonna be a Yankee his wife and CC’s wife were discussing places to live. Somehow this is not a factor anymore…

      • bexarama

        Yeah, this. It also has to do with the Pettitte thing. “Oh he’ll be closer to home if he goes to the Rangers!” Arlington =/= Houston

        • Hughesus Christo

          Reminds of Akron/Cleveland

          I broke the LeBron rule. Sorry.

  • ZZ

    Braunecker has probably figured out the Rangers won’t go 6 years. So to get 6 it is going to have to come from the Yankees. Therefore he is trying to send a message that he “prefers” to return to Texas.

    However he can’t go too far with that message by just flat out saying Lee prefers Texas because he risks the Rangers actually believing it. If so they may be enticed to come in at a lower AAV than orginally planned thus potentially driving down the total value of the contract at the end of the day.


  • Jay

    I think this is Lee’s way of saying “Thanks guys, it’s been fun, but I needed six years and Texas would only go five.” Lee comes out looking less like a “chase the money guy” and instead looks like a guy that liked staying in Texas but has an easy out.

  • Mr Moss

    Bluejays look like there getting ready to go get Greinke

    • Rick

      What makes you say that? The Marcum trade?

      • pat

        They could be loading up on prospects.

    • bexarama

      And some ramps and Richard Simmons DVDs?

      • Mr Moss

        Your a loser…do you have a life? or you post here 24/7

        • bexarama

          Pretty much the latter, yeah. Ow you cut me deep.

          • pat

            Don’t worry Bex, a smart man named Cat once told me the first cut is the deepest. You’ll be ok, kid.

        • seimiya


  • Matt

    I would just go in with my best offer if I were Cashmen, 6 yrs 150 million for Lee, take it or leave it, maybe through in a few incentives to.

  • China Joe

    In negotiation tactics they call this the Sabathia maneuver.

  • Mike R

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I remember reading somewhere saying that Lee would still receive tax on any games he plays out of the state of Texas. The only place that Cliff Lee would receive no taxes are games he played in Texas.

    • Jonnysaysrelax

      I’m not sure if that’s correct but the point is that these angles the media is putting out there is laughable at times

      • JobaWockeeZ

        No that’s right. He gets taxed in the states he’s been to. Only 82 games would have no tax but the different is quite insignificant.

        • Jonnysaysrelax

          I believe you. I’m just tired of the media playing this angle. Its stupid along with the proximity to Arkansas.

  • Poopy Pants

    How come no one is mocking Cashman like they did Theo earlier today?
    The Sox got their man, Lee doesn’t want to be a Yankee (according to this story), Pettitte is still stringing them along (ala Brett Favre) and Cash got used by the Mariners earlier this year.
    Don’t forget the shitty AJ deal that we’re still stuck with and they’ll be overpaying for an old SS until he’s 39 or 40.
    We gotta be fair, right?

    • Jonathan

      you’re not very intelligent are you?

      • bexarama

        He’s just being a devil’s advocate because we all like the Yankees. On a Yankee blog.

        • pat

          More like Devil’s mentally handicapped assistant who only has a job because he’s the Devil’s brother in law.

          • Louis

            haha thats histerical

    • Jonnysaysrelax

      Its a strategy by his agent not him saying he doesn’t want to be a Yankee. How many times did we think CC didn’t want to be a Yankee?

    • pat

      Why are we mocking Cashman for what Theo did. Did we want Aaron Harang or Jorge De La Rosa? Do you believe everything nomaas tells you?

    • ROBTEN

      The Sox got their man

      So did the Yankees. That man was Teixeira and it didn’t cost them prospects as it did the Sox. The same with CC. Hopefully the same with Lee. You could just as easily argue that it is because of Cashman’s moves two seasons ago that the Sox just had to pay double to get Gonzalez.

      Pettitte is still stringing them along (ala Brett Favre)

      First, Pettitte’s situation is no where near the Brett Favre drama that takes place every year. Second, how do we know that he’s stringing them along? He’s making a decision, the Yankees have a space for him. It’s not like it’s February. It’s not as if he’s on ESPN every day saying that he’s not sure if he wants to come back. Would the Yankees like a definitive answer, maybe, but I don’t think the Yankees are as concerned yet as some fans might be.

      Cash got used by the Mariners earlier this year

      Meh. Did the Mariners pull a fast one? Maybe, but trades don’t happen all of the time. The Mariners were able to get top prospects from a division rival that made them stronger and their rivals weaker over the long term. They pulled out of one deal and selected the deal they liked better. It’s not as if Cashman tried to undersell for Lee. He offered Montero. Should he have sold the farm instead? We’re in a position to get Lee now without giving up prospects. What’s wrong with that?

      Don’t forget the shitty AJ deal that we’re still stuck with

      Yes, a lot of people don’t like this deal — I too was not a huge fan — but it was the going rate that year and to outbid the Braves it took the extra year. That’s what happens sometimes. It will happen again with Lee (the extra year I mean, not the performance issues).

      they’ll be overpaying for an old SS until he’s 39 or 40

      Yes, they overpaid for Jeter, but they stuck fairly firm on the years. So, you pay more, but it’s not like they signed him for five or six years (as per the rumors of Jeter’s demands).

      We gotta be fair, right?

      So what are you suggesting they do now? Sell the farm for Greinke? Overpay for Crawford? Put Posada on the bench as a “super sub”?

      Is everything that Cashman and the Yankees do flawless? No.

      Is it as horrible as you would like it to seem? Not even close.

      The Yankees are in a position to sign the top free agent pitcher again this year, they have kept their top prospects and have used the farm to effectively upgrade the team over the past few seasons. What else should he be doing?

      • Reggie C.

        A quick note on Posada … several ML teams would happily start Posada at DH. Posada still showed enough juice in the bat, that barring injury, Posada could continue to stick around after next season at DH; maybe even with the Yankees.

        • ItsATarp

          Posada’s bat doesn’t look like it’s slowing down much. even when his avg was down, he’s still getting on base at a very good rate and showing pop. The fact he might not have to catch too much anymore, he might actually hit better.

    • JerseyDutch

      You just did. So I guess that’s one.

    • Louis

      Theo lost Jayson Werth to the Nationals. Thats really embarassing.

      • Reggie C.

        No … thats really not much of anything to

        Crawford remains available. But more importantly, Theo also appears to have locked up a 1B to rival Teixiera’s production for a long time to come. Theo can sleep well tonight, especially knowing he didnt fork over a 7 year deal to a 32 year old who’d have to switch leagues.

        • Louis

          Switching leagues doesnt really mean anything for a hitter… and yea hell sleep well knowing that he traded 3 top prospects for the rights to give a 30 year old 1st basemen whos “switching leagues” a Mark Tiexiera- like deal.

        • Louis

          and yea i take back the fact that i said it was embarassing to lose out to the Nats on Werth

  • Louis

    Random thought… what if A.J Burnett comes back and pitches like he did the year before we signed him? Then our rotation depth goes back to being relatively formidable. I mean Sabathia, Hughes, Burnett, Pettitte (if he resignes) and I guess Nova? I mean thats not terrible. (If Burnett bounces back) I just dont think the season is completely lost if we dont sign Cliff Lee. If Burnett bounces back and Hughes takes another step forward… well id almost rather have that then commit 150 million to an aging pitcher. I know this is only the best case scenario in terms of how Burnett and Hughes could perform, but its definitly plausible. Burnett didnt just forget how to pitch.

    • Reggie C.

      “If Burnett bounces back and Hughes takes another step forward …”

      History and age are lining up against Burnett being able to “bounce” back to 2009 levels. The ONLY silver lining from AJ’s 2010 season was that he was relatively healthy the entire season. That fact gives me a glimmer of hope that 2011 AJ might be able to return to 2009 AJ form. But with the competitive level of the division only getting amped up, the Yanks cannot rest on their laurels.

      Cliff Lee is a must sign. Nova, Brackman, Phelps are #5 options after Pettitte retires, which could still happen this offseason.

      • Louis

        What so is Lee a must-sign for the Red Sox as well? I mean Beckett pitched 127 innings with a 5- something era. Lackey was less than spectacular and Daisuke was worse than Burnett. so in my opinion were much better off then the Red Sox are right now. Tampa Bay is doing anything but getting “amped up”. The losses of Crawford and Pena are big blows and their pitching cant completely make up for it. Sheilds posted an era over 5 and Neimann was decent at best. Other than David Price, their rotation has question marks and most of their starters are solid at best. I dont think we absolutely need Lee to compete in this division.

        • Reggie C.

          With the addition of Gonzalez and healthier seasons for Youkilis, Pedroia, and even Ellsbury, the RS offense is right up there with the Yanks. The Rays actually generated a ton of runs without Pena doing much at all last season. Sure, losing Crawford will be a big blow, yet, the offseason isn’t over, and i’d keep an eye on the Rays moving blue chip prospects for a quality bat.

          I’m much higher on the Rays rotation than you are. I love Matt Garza’s skill level. I think he can get better too. Hellickson looked fantastic in the second half. Wade Davis and Niemann are quality back-of-the-order starters. Yeah… Shields doesnt even make the rotation if it were up to me.

          Boston’s rotation is top heavy. Lester and Buchholz are great and both could be finishing in the top 10 Cy Young voting for years to come. Then there’s a major drop-off. Ehh… Beckett and Lackey are hit-or-miss. But then again, that was last season.

      • The Three Amigos

        Lee is important for a few reasons. 1. No comparable starter will be a FA for a few years at least. 2. Hughes is a risk this year, because of the huge innings jump. Therefore, he may take a step back before taking two steps forward in 2012. 3. Lee is insurance in the event CC opts out, then the Yankees can hold the line on CC instead of having to go all out again.

        • Louis

          Well the money that we could spend on Cc in the event he ops out would be going to Lee. and in terms of division competition, Bucholz is also a risk because of innings, as well as Price. Im not saying we shouldnt sign Lee, just that it wouldnt be the end of the world if we didnt.

          • The Three Amigos

            It definitely wouldn’t be the end of the world. One prevailing thought is that Lee will age more gracefully then CC, because of less workload on his arm.

    • candyforstalin

      what if A.J Burnett comes back and pitches like he did the year before we signed him?

      you’re funny.

      • Louis

        well he cant get much worse.

        • Jerome S

          If he gets any worse he’s just not going to pitch anymore, period.

    • KyleLitke

      I think Lee would be a big deal for the Yankees, as with him they’re probably the favorites and without him, they may or may not be the best team in the division even (if there was ANYTHING else available in pitching I might say different, but there’s not…it’s Lee, find someone willing to trade a top pitcher, or bust). That said, I agree with you that the season isn’t lost. People are way overstating that. AJ COULD bounce back (can’t count on it necessarly, but he could). And CC/Andy/Hughes is a solid top 3. It’s a scary bottom two of Burnett and Nova, but if he did bounce back to 2009 level (which was solid), then they could win.

      But I do want Lee because I think you’re talking about too many “maybe’s” and “best case scenario’s”. If Burnett bounces back, if Pettitte returns, if Hughes pitches more like he did early on as opposed to later in the year, if Nova can figure out how to pitch more than 3 or 4 innings in the majors (sure didn’t look like it in September), if none of them get hurt (cause if they do, who’s the backup with Nova the #5 starter? Mitre? Random AAAA starter they picked up for nothing? Yikes)…it’s just way too many what ifs, and honestly, the free agent market for pitchers isn’t much better next year (probably worse without Lee in it), when they’ll have to replace Pettitte. It’s one thing to do that with a combination of Brackman/Betances/Banuelos when you have a top 3 of Sabathia, Lee, and Hughes, with Burnett in there too. It’s another to do it when Nova’s your #5.

  • ItsATarp

    i hope we offer 6 years to lee and just stay there. If Texas up their offer then let them have him, so he takes up 25% of their payroll.

  • burbankbogey

    Wait didn’t Yahoo already report that the Yankees offered Lee a 6 year deal a few weeks back? I mean obviously not but….

    • Louis

      yea someone said they gave him a Sabathia deal. Obviously not or hed be a Yankee by now.

  • Wil Nieves #1 Fan

    Lee should sign with the Nat’inals and try to bring them a championship.

    I <3 compelling story lines.

    • bexarama

      for 9 years/$250M