28 teams offer Cliff Lee 7 years

I honestly hope you had something better to do than follow the Cliff Lee saga today. Because unless you favor the theater of the absurd, you likely got nowhere but frustrated. Here’s what happened, in essence.

  • The Nats are “very much” in on Cliff Lee, to the point that they’d offer seven years.
  • Two hours later: oops, the Nats aren’t in on Lee.
  • A team not named the Nats has offered Lee seven years.
  • Wait, now there are two teams who have offered seven years. It’s a double mystery!
  • Right on cue, the Angels are mentioned as suitors. Not only that, they could trade a pitcher to make room for him.
  • Of course, amid all of these rumors, we hear that the two presumed suitors, the Yankees and the Rangers, not only won’t go to seven years, but also haven’t been allowed to make an offer. So random mystery teams can offer seven years when seven years is insane, but the Yankees can’t make their own offer.

It adds up to nothing but a mockery. Given the way this week has unfolded, there’s absolutely no reason to pay attention to anything said about Lee until he’s on the verge of signing a deal. It’s pretty clear that Lee’s agent, Darek Braunecker, is trying to play everyone. I don’t blame him. But he can’t blame me for tuning out.

Diaz joins the Pirates

Well, so much for that idea. Matt Diaz signed with the Pirates most likely because they offered him a two-year deal. Guess the Yankees will have to look elsewhere for a righty platoon outfield bat.

Yankees interested in Mark Prior

Via Joel Sherman, the Yankees and free agent right-hander Mark Prior have mutual interest in what would surely be a minor league deal. Prior has not yet worked out for the team, though they have scouting him during his various independent league stints over the years. Prior did through one inning in Triple-A this past September (for the Rangers), his first action in affiliated ball since 2006. There’s no such thing as a bad minor league contract, but sheesh.

The Yankees, of course, drafted Prior 43rd overall in 1998 but the two sides could not come to terms with a contract. He then went to Vanderbilt for a year before landing at USC and eventually went second overall in 2001. The rest, as they say, is history.

Eiland catches on with the Rays

Via Joel Sherman, former Yankee pitching coach Dave Eiland has been hired by the Rays to work in an executive capacity, though the team has not announced it yet. I presume he’ll be able to stay in Tampa all year round, which is where he probably lives after spending so many years in the Yankees’ organization. After his month long absence this past June, maybe this is exactly what he wanted. I’d wish him good luck, but not when he’s employed by a direct competitor. Sorry Dave, nothing personal.

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.

Open Thread: Winter Meetings Day Two

Earlier today Joe posted video of Joe Torre speaking about his time as a manager during today’s press conference with Lou Piniella, Cito Gaston, and John Schuerholz as Bobby Cox. Let’s follow that up with the media’s Q&A session, which featured questions about Ron Santo, Derek Jeter, Torre’s time in New York, and their histories in general. It’s a good 15 minutes long, but it’s worth the watch. They were all entertaining.

Once you’re done with that, use this sucker as you open thread for the evening. The only local team in action is the Nets, so … find something else to watch. Talk about whatever your heart desires here.

Moseley on his way to San Diego

Via Ken Rosenthal, the Padres are close to signing former Yankee Dustin Moseley to a big league contract of unknown terms. The Yankees recently non-tendered Moseley rather than going to arbitration with him in a move that Brian Cashman said was designed to “control costs,” which came after he pitched to a 5.99 FIP (-0.4 fWAR) in 65.1 IP. I fully expect Dustin to put up an ERA south of 3.50 in 180 or so innings with the Pads next year. Petco Park, the career reviver.