Winter Meetings started yesterday in Orlando, Florida, but we are no closer to finding a home for Cliff Lee. Lee’s agent, Darek Braunecker, has been scurrying around talking with numerous clubs about the potential of his client. All talks have been productive and sincere, it appears.
There are several factors that are going to come into play in the long run including the number of years in the possible contract. Lee is trying to get six or seven years at probably about $20 million per year. The Rangers haven’t expressed much interest in giving Lee more than a five-year deal while the Yankees prefer to stick with six but could go seven if needed to secure the 32-year-old starting pitcher.
However, the Rangers and Yankees aren’t the only clubs that want Lee. The Washington Nationals as well as other teams that have not been disclosed to the media also have their eyes set on the free agent. The Nationals seem to be willing to go seven years to get Lee and are still very much in the running to get him.
While those are the preferences of the teams that doesn’t mean that during the negotiations at the Winter Meetings won’t change the clubs’ minds. The Rangers need Cliff Lee – sure, they could make it without him but it would be a hell of a lot easier with him there to make it to another World Series.
Seeing as how I don’t know Lee personally I don’t know what the man is going to do but I sure hope he keeps his butt in Texas!
Oh, and all of you that expect a decision by the close of the Winter Meetings on Thursday, I wouldn’t hold my breath!