Yankees ready to “get serious” with Cliff Lee


The last two days have featured plenty of talk but basically no action on the Cliff Lee front, but Brian Cashman told reporters today that he’s ready to make the free agent lefty an offer. “If they’re willing to take [an offer] and they’re ready to close something out, I’m willing to get serious,” said Cash. “We’re just waiting for them to get to that position.” Apparently Darek Braunecker isn’t ready to take offers just yet, though he reportedly has two seven-year offers in hand. That sounds like nothing more than agent speak to me.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. bexarama says:

    Heard this: Yankees willing to go to third base with Cliff.

    (I totally don’t believe those MYSTERY TEAM!!! rumors at all.)

  2. JM says:

    Yo, braunecker! You’re not Scott Boras! Stop pretending to have 7-year offers trying to get the Yankees to bite. You know the Yankees will offer the best contract. Come on, Cash. Show Braunecker what we’ve got!

  3. Jimmy McNulty says:


    I doubt that two teams offered 7/140+ when the Yankees haven’t even made the opening offer.

  4. FachoinaNYY says:

    “even though lee has two 7-year offers, he still could consider a strong 6-year bid, depending on total $ and franchise”

    Twitter – Heyman

    I think that this is proof that the 7 year offers are bs…

    6 years lands Cliff Lee

    • MikeD says:

      Good to know he he’ll still “consider” a stinkin’ six-year offer.

      The whole seven-year thing is designed to get teams off of five years. I don’t believe there’s a single seven-year offer out there. I don’t even think there’s a six-year offer out there.

  5. JeffG says:

    The Yanks also have an offer at 7 years 20 mil… he just has to throw 6 years to earn it. 6 x 24 = 144 7 x20 140. There is plenty chance that the Yanks can be the best offer.

    Also, when you think about it the longer offer the better if the total money is the same as the AAV goes down and helps us with the luxury tax.

  6. I’ll get the champagne.

  7. vin says:

    My take on what has happened…

    The Yanks were the first team to meet with Lee and Braunecker. Although they didn’t give them a specific offer, they told them the paramaters that they were willing to go to.

    Lee and Braunecker have met with other teams since then, and have been discussing those teams’ parameters. Perhaps one, and possibly two teams said they’d be willing to go to 7 years for Cliff – but they haven’t made formal offers yet, since Braunecker isn’t yet accepting offers.

    So right now, the Yankees’ “paramaters” are most certainly higher than everyone else’s, and Braunecker is trying to exhaust all his other options (Rangers, Angels, Phils, Tigers, whoever) before going to Cashman and saying, “OK, you win again.”

    Cashman and Braunecker are supposed to meet tonight – it’ll probably be Braunecker verifying that Cash’s offer is legit, and the start of the negotiating process.

    Or so I think.

  8. pat says:

    Not taking offers? What is this, amateur hour?

  9. bexarama says:

    @jorgearangure: Don’t think Cliff Lee is signing any time soon. Saw agent Darek Braunecker having casual dinner. Was not in any rush to finish

    Twitter ilu but you are really silly sometimes

  10. A.D. says:

    Basically Lee and his agent are just trying to get the Yanks to bid against themselves because that’s going to be the highest bidder by far

  11. MikeD says:

    The fact that Lee is supposedly off “hunting” is designed as an excuse so that no team (read Cashman) can put a take-it-or-leave it offer on the table. “Sorry, Brian, I can’t get a hold of Cliff right now.”

    Braunecker is trying to build suspense and doubt in the Yankees to counter that he doesn’t have any substantial offers from other teams yet. He wants to hold off, talk to other teams, try and create more doubt in the hopes of getting the Yankees up to six years. There is no seven-year offer.

    • Jimmy McNulty says:

      Yeah, here’s what I make out of all of this: Cliff Lee accidentally shot his cell phone and can’t hear Cashman’s offer.

      • MikeD says:

        I think Braunecker knows if Cashman’s opening offer is five years and $115 million, it might freeze the bidding, since even if some team is willing to match that, or even go slightly more, the Yankees will top it. By specifically asking teams not to submit offers, and not discussing money, and having his client mysteriously take a hunting trip in the middle of the Winter Meetings, and then meeting with tons of teams, and then leaking information about mystery teams offering seven years, it can mean one thing and one thing only. The Rangers and the Yankees are the only two teams seriously bidding, and Braunecker is trying to create a market to get the Yankees up to six years and $25 million per.

        Cashman should make his offer tonight and leak the details.

    • mbonzo says:

      Yes but you have to make it a perfect balance between as long as a team can last til they start to pursue other options. Signings usually happen at the winter meetings because trade options become available, those options could interfere with a players market, so they sign before plan B becomes realistic.

    • Chris says:

      Interestingly, last weekend (12/5) was the end of deer hunting season in Arkansas.

  12. Bob says:

    As pointed out, it has to be suspect at best — all indications are that he isn’t accepting offers yet, but we’re supposed to believe that there have been 2 7-yr. offers…that sounds like a real flaw in logic. Maybe they should actually take offers — they might have 3 10-yr. deals on their plate already.

  13. mbonzo says:

    Anyone think the mystery team is the Miami Heat?

  14. Simon says:

    I think one of those “7 yr offers” came from the Expos.

  15. JerseyDutch says:

    I want to start a team called the New Jersey Anonymous just to confuse things. “Cliff Lee considering Anonymous offer.”

  16. Jimmy McNulty says:

    I think were going to have to wait until is back from killing innocent animals before we get anywhere on this situation. Why did he have to hunt the busiest week of the fucking offseason?

    • steve (different one) says:

      Don’t be naïve, that deer would eat you too

    • Evilest Empire says:

      Oh, I’m sure its a complete and utter coincidence and not some contrivance from his agent in an attempt to manipulate and control the winter meetings.

      • MikeD says:

        Lee’s in New Jersey right now, sitting back at CC’s in a big recliner, sipping a beer, and the two of them are laughing at this crazy shit, wondering how how the Yankees will go. CC knows if Lee’s annual average goes above his, he can then threaten to use his opt out to get the Yankees to match.

        Oh, yeah. They’re having good ol’ time, reaching now for some shots of tequila. Life is good is Lee and CC’s worlds.

  17. NY or bust says:

    When you hear Boras negotiate new contracts for the guy you hate him, then you hear some of these other clown agents out there like Jeter’s and Lee’s and you realize how good the guy actually is at his job.

    • Pasqua says:

      Yup. Sounds like Brauneker is doing his best Boras impression. Thing is, there’sonly one Boras.

    • Evilest Empire says:

      All of the agents you mentioned are capable of milking tens of millions of dollars more for their client than what the actual market dictates they’re worth. They’re all pretty darn good at their job. That said, I think Jayson Werth’s contract is one of the biggest deals in terms of how much extra the agent got for the player compared to his true value. I don’t think anybody but Boras got romanticize the thought of getting Werth to the tune of an extra $50 – 60M more than what everybody thought he’d get coming into the offseason.

      Whoever Darren Dreifort’s agent is deserves mention in this conversation as well.

    • MikeD says:

      Close got Jeter’s original $189-million deal and negotiated Ryan Howard’s $25-million annual average, $125-million extension three years before the damn first deal was complete, by which time Howard will be well into his decline. Close was the key guy to form the foundation for CA’s baseball business. As for Braunecker, he got the Yankees to give AJ $17-million per, and now has the Yankees bidding against their own money to sign Lee. They’re both two of the best. Boras is in his own league, though.

      • MikeD says:

        …and I should add in addition, the deal that Close negotiated for Jeter the other day was brilliant. Basically, every team knew Jeter was going nowhere, Jeter told Close not to negotiate with any team, or take offers, thus eliminating all leverage. What did he get Jeter: At worst, a three-year contract for a little less than $21-million a year. Yup, that seems to have been lost on everyone. $17 million a year, but an $8 million player option, which Jeter will take, and then the Yankees will have to pay $3 million to buy him out, just so he doesn’t play in year four. That will come out to $62 million for three years of work. The only “flaw” in the plan is if Jeter is still really good at 40 and actually does play. Don’t count on it. It was a hell of a deal.

        • PaulF says:

          There’s no way Jeter can get 62 million in three years. Jeter gets $16 mil a year plus the 3 million buyout if he doesn’t want to play the fourth. That comes out to 51 million for three years. If Jeter wants to play the fourth year, he gets bewteen 56 and 65 million for 4 years, depending on the incentives.

          • MikeD says:

            I read it’s a player option, which means he can trip it. It will cost the Yankees $3 million more just so he doesn’t play.

            • Evilest Empire says:

              If you look at Jeter’s deal on Cot’s, I interpret it the way PaulF is saying. However, based on every single media report about this deal that I’ve read, it has to be the way MikeD is saying.

              • MikeD says:

                I think it’s still a bit fuzzy, but PaulF could be right. I’m not sure all the details are out, which is why there are differing reports. I’ll leave it open for now…outside of the fact that Jeter’s getting a lot of money.

              • Evilest Empire says:

                This is from the ESPN article:

                According to an official with knowledge of the contract, the guaranteed portion is $51 million over three years. There’s an $8 million player option for a fourth year. The guaranteed portion includes a $3 million buyout if Jeter were to decline the option for 2014. If he exercises it, he would earn a total of $56 million over the four seasons.

                Kind of ambiguously written, but it does say $51M is the only part guaranteed.

                • MikeD says:

                  Okay, that makes sense and is not quite as insane as I first read it. The more I think about it, if Jeter is done after three years, he’ll still get his $8 million, but instead of telling the Yankees he plans to play to get his additional $8 million, he’ll announce his retirement, the Yankees will pay him his $3 million buy out, and then they’ll make up the difference in the $5 million he’ll lose by cutting him a personal services contract that won’t be subject to the luxury tax. That way Jeter gets his money and the Yankees save money on the luxury tax.

                  I guess the really tricky part is if the clauses push the $8 million contract up to $14 or 15 million for the fourth year, but he’s really not good enough to play. That seems difficult, since I believe the clauses are based on him winning things like the Silver Slugger, and the Gold Glove, which would mean he’s still productive. Yet, the devil’s in the details here. If he wins a Silver Slugger in 2011, and another Gold Glove (hey, it could happen), but really collapses by year three, does that trigger the contract up to $14 or 15 million in year four? I haven’t seen the specifics. If the Yankees have to buy that out, and he only plays for three years, then he’ll make over $20 million a year for his three years of work.

                  Anyway, I’ve gone off topic.

                  • Evilest Empire says:

                    I tried to think out how his (arbitrary) awards would logically scale his player option up to a max of $17M, but then realized I don’t care enough.

                    • MikeD says:

                      Yeah, I hit the same point. I actually hope he achieves every one of his clauses (especially the Silver Slugger awards), since it means he was productive for the three years and the fourth year will be deserved.

            • candyforstalin says:

              so he takes both the option and the buyout? he’s good.

          • MikeD says:

            You’re correct. The $3 million buy-out is built into the $51 million, which is the minimum he can make. If he takes the $8 million option, the minimum he can make is $56 million. Still a hell of a deal for a, gulp, aging icon.

      • steve (different one) says:

        now has the Yankees bidding against their own money to sign Lee.

        or, he has them bidding against other, real bids. b/c as everyone has noticed so far, the league is flush with cash and they are spending it like drunken sailors.

        why don’t we think anyone else would like to bid a ton of money for a great pitcher?

  18. Pasqua says:

    Tell ya’ what: Cashman does this shit in his sleep. I hope Braunecker doesn’t try to get too cute, because I’m willing to bet he will be easily overmatched and end up screwing things up for his client if he isn’t careful.

  19. Jimmy McNulty says:

    “Though GM Tony Reagins downplayed the Angels-Lee connection, Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse hears that the Halos are discussing Lee and will stay in touch with his agent (Twitter link).”

  20. Clint Holzner says:

    His agent is certainly doing his job.

  21. Are they going to give him their pledge pins? Varsity jackets? Is he going to bake his famous cookies for them?

    • Evilest Empire says:

      Ever since The Red Sox invited Adrian Gonzales to the Sadies Hawkins dance and Jayson Werth went steady with the Nationals, the Yankees have been desperate to make a big splash at the Winter Prom

  22. Jimmy McNulty says:

    The Angels reached out to Lee’s representatives and started pursuing him today, according to’s Jerry Crasnick (Twitter links). Crasnick hears that it’s doubtful Lee signs before the Winter Meetings end.

    The Nationals are not in on Lee, according to Jon Heyman of (Twitter link). GM Mike Rizzo said earlier today that he has some interest in the lefty.

    Oh come the fuck on. Clifton you fucking asshole, can’t you put off the hunting trip until after you make perhaps the biggest decision of your life?

    • Evilest Empire says:

      The hunting trip is just a ploy. Even if Lee is actually on a hunting trip, he was explicitly mandated to do so by his agent. Its because this is one of the biggest decisions in his life that he’s taking his time and letting this thing take its course. Once Whatshifacedrecker starts taking bids, this thing is going to be over and done fast. Dude has brought this thing to a simmering boil already. He’s going to get high and close-to-final offers immediately.

      • Jimmy McNulty says:

        I want Cliff Lee in Pinstripes and I don’t give a shit about anything else. I want this happening now!!!!!!!

        While were at it I want a pony too….maybe a white horse named Pestilence.

        • Evilest Empire says:

          :::bangs on pots and pans:::

          • Jimmy McNulty says:

            This is seriously frustrating.

            • Evilest Empire says:

              lol yeah, I’m anxious to see some more news too and to see this thing to come to a head. We’ve seen this kind of song and dance many many times though, and tense waiting times like this is a big part of the process for us as fans.

              The Werth Deal got everybody worked up and into a tizzy. “The Red Sox lost to a mystery team on their 32 year old FA on an absurd contract, maybe the Yankees will too!” … or something like that.

              Ultimately though, the Nationals as a franchise made an outlier movement not indicative of true market conditions and the big spenders are disciplined enough to not give out a 7 year deal to a 32 year old pitcher out of basic principle.

              Braunecker leveraged everything he could to guarantee Lee is getting the biggest realistic deal out there – the Yankees max offer. No other team needs the marginal wins added by a 6/$145M (or whatever) pitcher like the Yankees do.

              • Jimmy McNulty says:

                I think it may take the 7th year, but like 7/150 or so, not the 7/161 that CC signed. If it’s 7/150…ehhh, bite the bullet I guess. I mean if you’re willing to offer 6/140…what’s an extra year and ten million? Also it’s not so much the rumors that piss me off…it’s the fact that NONE OF THESE FUCKING RUMORS CAN GO ANYWHERE RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!! Cliff Lee is incommunicado for all we know, so what’s the point of even reporting anything? Braunecker is doing a pretty good job at creating lots of leverage. He’s earning his commission on this contract.

  23. yankees1717 says:

    so apparently braunecker hasn’t taken any offers yet, but does have two 7 year offers.
    wait, what?

  24. mbonzo says:

    And suddenly it gets very very quiet. Calm before the storm? Hoping Cash is talking to Brauecker right now and giving him the business.

  25. Angel says:

    So whats up in the meet btw Cash and braunecker?

  26. rek4gehrig says:

    Braunecker, stop effing around and take offers already. This is getting very tired.

  27. Jimmy McNulty says:

    Jack Curry seems to think the Yankees made an offer today.

  28. burbankbogey says:

    For some reason I have the feeling the Yankees are simply being used. I don’t think Lee has any intention of signing with us.

  29. Marco Polo says:

    I wouldn’t be so bothered if we don’t land Lee for anything more then six years, these long term contracts are so damn risky I wouldn’t wish another pavano on anyone but stuff happens. But if we do get him I just pray he stays healthy!!!

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