Will it take seven to get Lee?

Now that the free agent market has settled around the Jayson Werth signing, the Cliff Lee market is taking shape. The Yankees, of course, remain prime players for the lefty’s services, but the Rangers and Nationals seem heavily involved in the bidding as well. As the first day of the Winter Meetings draws to a close, let’s round up the rumors.

According to Ken Rosenthal’s sources, Lee will receive a seven-year off from some Major League club. Joel Sherman offers a follow-up: The Yanks have “internally said seven years is the dealbreaker with Lee”. The club “would go to six, perhaps, to finish off a deal,” but they are hesitant to sign a pitcher who is currently 32 to a seven-year deal. I can’t say I blame them, but from what we’ve heard, the Rangers are willing to go only to four or maybe five. Perhaps the Nationals will swoop in and steal Lee away.

Yanks eyeing Wood for the right price

Kerry Wood’s name hasn’t come up too often this winter. The Yanks’ midseason acquisition pitched great for the Bombers in 24 games. He went 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA (and a still-impressive 3.39 FIP) in 26 innings. He struck out 31 and walked just 18, and most assumed that, since Wood wanted to close and wanted closer money, he wouldn’t be back with the Yanks.

This evening, we learn that the Yanks talked to Wood’s people today. The team, says Hoch, would love to have Wood return, but GM Brian Cashman said any offer from the Yanks “won’t compete with closer money.” If the market for Wood shrivels up, a welcome return to the Bronx for this potent bullpen arm could be in order.

Cashman: Posada’s our DH

Via LoHud, Brian Cashman told reporters this afternoon that Jorge Posada was in fact slated to be the team’s regular designated hitter next season. “He’s our DH,” said Cashman. “That’s what he is, unless he plays himself off it.” Harsh, but it’s what’s best for the team. Looks like Jesus Montero is going to get a chance to sink or swing next season.

Cashman (and maybe Levine) met with Cliff Lee’s agent

Brian Cashman confirmed that he met with Darek Braunecker about his client Cliff Lee today, adding that he’s “going to meet with [Braunecker] as much as I can.” Team president Randy Levine is believe to have attended the meeting as well. When Levine gets involved, that means things are about to get serious, though no money was talked about this meeting. The Rangers, meanwhile, were planning to offer Lee just four guaranteed years, a far cry from the six that it will likely take to get him signed. That doesn’t mean they won’t increase their offer, but I take it as a good sign for the Yankees if Texas was only willing to start the bidding that low.

Open Thread: Winter Meetings Day One

(Photo Credit: me, yo)

That’s the setup in the media room at the The Dolphin in Disney’s Complez in Orlando, where this year’s winter meetings are being held. Earlier today Padres GM Jed Hoyer sat up there and explained his reasoning behind the Adrian Gonzalez trade, and before that Pat Gillick thanked a laundry list of people after being announced as the newest Hall of Famer. Unfortunately Derek Jeter‘s press conference will not be held there tomorrow, the captain wanted to do it Tampa. All of the beat writers are driving out there in the morning, but us lowly bloggers are staying in Orlando. One of our perks, I guess.

Anyway, here’s your open thread for the night. The Jets are at the Patriots tonight in a game with some serious AFC East ramifications. If that doesn’t do it for ya, the Devils and Knicks are in action as well. You guys know the drill, so have at it.

Yankees ‘considering’ Matt Diaz

Via Ed Price, the Yankees are “considering” free agent outfielder Matt Diaz for a platoon (a.k.a. the Marcus Thames) role. There’s no indication that they’ve actually made him an offer or anything like that, just that he’s crossed their minds. Joe took a brief look at Diaz last week in his non-tender guide. Diaz would be a fine choice, thought it sounds like the competition will be stiff.

Cashman confirms that Pettitte is leaning towards retirement

Bob Klapisch drops a December bombshell. The Yankees, he says, “heard from friend of Pettitte’s that he’s [definitely] retiring.” The club received this news three weeks ago, and they are officially “still waiting on his decision.” We’ve heard numerous conflicting reports on Pettitte this winter. Just a few weeks ago, Ken Davidoff said the lefty was “leaning toward” a 2011 swan song, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Pettitte hangs it up this year. Either way, Cliff Lee stands to benefit, but don’t jump off that bridge until we hear it from the mouth of number 46 himself.

Update (3:26 p.m.): NBC Sports’ Craig Calcaterra chimes in with an opposite view. He says, “Source close to Pettitte tells me that while you never know with Pettitte, the expectation is that he’s coming back.” All we know is that we don’t know anything yet.

Update by Mike (5:40pm): Brian Cashman told reporters this afternoon that last he heard, Pettitte is leaning towards retirement. Apparently Andy first mentioned it to the GM after the season, which is the first time he’s done that.