Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cliff Lee Not Taking Offers...For Now

If you believe Jon Heyman, Cliff Lee's agent has told teams that he's not taking offers at this time.  That said, Lee is still meeting with teams.  Confusing, no?  Last week, he met with Yankees GM Brian Cashman.  Yesterday, he met with Rangers GM Jon Daniels, team president Nolan Ryan, and principle owner and CEO Chuck Greenburg.  There's nothing like bringing out the big guns to make an impression.  Then again, when you're competing with the Yankees on the free agent market, you need to one-up them every chance you get. 

I can understand why some people would be confused as to why Lee and his agent aren't willing to at least entertain offers at this time.  On the surface, it doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense.  At the very least, they can obtain information, and get the ball rolling on negotiations.  Then again, Lee has the market cornered on top tier free agent starting pitchers.  After Lee, the best starting pitchers on the market include Carl Pavano, Jake Westbrook (re-signed by the Cardinals for two years), Jorge De La Rosa, Andy Pettitte (who will either retire or re-sign with the Yankees), and Hiroki Kuroda (who just re-signed with the Dodgers).  It's not exactly an awe inspiring bunch, is it?  Three of the pitchers are unobtainable, and the other two are injury risks.  Cliff Lee not only holds a winning hand, but has great position as well.  He and his agent know it too.  They control the market, and can dictate who and when offers are obtained.  When you think about it, it's pretty smart. 

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