Brian Cashman told George King that the Yankees will not increase their offer to free agent lefty Cliff Lee. Although Cashman indicated that he has spoken to agent Darek Braunecker since the winter meetings, he simply said “no” when asked if he’d increase his offer in terms of dollars and/or years. First of all, Cashman’s not going to state publicly that he’s willing to up the offer, keep that in mind. Secondly, you can’t blame the Yanks GM here, they already offered Lee a menu of huge dollar deals that are more than fair. The ball is in Lee’s court now, everyone’s made their best offer. Time to decide, Cliff.
It’s raining cats and dogs in the Tri-State Area, but at least it’s better than what’s going on in Minnesota. Here are a few links to check out before the Jets kick off…
The Last Time The Yankees Didn’t Get Their Man
As the Cliff Lee circus continues to play out, it’s tough for many young fans to remember the last time the Yankees failed to sign a free agent they coveted. Ben Shpigel recapped the courtship of Greg Maddux, in which then-GM Gene Michael went above and beyond the normal call of duty only to be left in the dark. It’s also easy to forget that the Yanks were turned down by David Cone, Doug Drabek, and Barry Bonds that offseason, instead settling for Jimmy Key and Wade Boggs. Given how the late-90’s played out (especially against Maddux’s Braves), I’d say things worked out in the end.
Romine Trying To Keep The Family Business Alive
The Romine family is a baseball family, with father Kevin playing for the Red Sox back in the day and son Andrew suiting up for the Angels this past September. Austin is still trying to work his way up the minor league ladder, but Anthony McCarron caught up with the Yankee catching prospect about his upbringing. It’s a really interesting read, little did we know that Austin’s first steps came wearing a Red Sox shirt on the field in Fenway Park. Make sure you check it out.
Farm System Discussion
John Sickels at Minor League Ball is hosting a discussion thread about the Yankees farm system, part of his annual look at each team’s top twenty prospects. The comments can be both informative and borderline insane, but it’s worth a scroll through.
While the entire world waits for Cliff Lee to decide where he’ll spend (presumably) the rest of his career, another free agent lefty has a decision of his own to make. Brian Cashman told Marc Carig that he hasn’t spoken to Andy Pettitte since the winter meetings, which I guess is just three days. Feels like a lot longer though. I get the feeling that Andy’s decision will depend on Lee. If the Yanks land the former Cy Young Award winner, Pettitte will come back and try to win one more title. If not, he’ll hang them up and chill with the kids. That’s just my two cents though, don’t take it as gospel.
I dunno why, but I felt like posting a Mike Mussina picture today. Moose is easily one of my all-time favorite Yankees, and I can’t think of a long-term pitching contract that worked out better. I figured this was appropriate given all the Cliff Lee madness. Sometimes these things go according to plan, if not better.
Anyway, this is your open thread for the night. All three of the hockey locals are in action, plus there’s a ton of college football on. Pitchers and catcher report in 65 days, you know. Enjoy.
Via Baseball America’s Matt Eddy, the Dodgers have signed free agent lefty Wilkin De La Rosa, formerly of the Yankees. WDLR was designated for assignment over the summer and allowed to leave as a minor league free agent. Once one of New York’s better relief prospects, the former outfielder simply stalled out in Double-A over the last two years, walking too many guys and not doing enough to earn a promotion to Triple-A. It’s no big loss, De La Rosa was nothing more than dead weight on the 40-man roster since 2009.
Via Mark Feinsand, the Yankees have offered Russell Martin a one-year contract, though the money is unknown. Any team that signs the free agent backstop will be able to retain his services in 2012 as an arbitration-eligible player, so just about every team interested will offer him that one year. Yesterday we heard that they were taking an “aggressive approach” in these talks, so the Yanks are clearly looking for a little insurance should Jesus Montero have a difficult time adjusting to the big leagues.
I’m really interested in seeing what happens here, because signing Martin would create quite a few options for the Yankees as far as trades go. Not necessarily Montero either, it could be Frankie Cervelli or Austin Romine as well.