I can already hear Yankee fans rejoicing. Hardball Talk's Craig Calcaterra heard a juicy little rumor about Cliff Lee's concerns about pitching in Texas.
"Over the past few weeks we’ve heard all manner of things about what may or may not motivate Cliff Lee. His wife hates New York. He’s a country boy who wants to stay near Arkansas. Yankee fans are rude, rude rude!
I think this kind of thing is somewhat meaningless — the contract offers are ultimately going to decide where he goes — but let’s add one more non-monetary consideration to the pile: a little birdie tells me that Lee was not terribly happy in Texas, and that he is particularly concerned about how his body would hold up pitching an entire season in the North Texas heat.
It’s not clear if his unhappiness in Texas has to do specifically with the heat, if it also involves discombobulation over the fact that he was traded there in mid-season or if he just hates the place. And yeah, that’s second hand info. And yeah, I’m sure Lee and his agent will deny because they have absolutely zero interest in limiting their market right now, but it is what I’m hearing and you can place as much weight on it as you’d like."Before Yankee fans get overly excited and ordain him as the next great Yankee, let's put this in a little perspective. As I said earlier this week, 90% of the offseason rumors we hear end up not being true. I trust Craig's judgment. I've been reading his work for a couple of years, and I've never found him to be someone that purposely tries to mislead people. If this didn't come from a reliable source, I don't think he would've considered mentioning it. That said, it's secondhand news. Really, all this does is counteract the rumor that Cliff Lee wasn't interested in playing for the Yankees because of the way his wife was treated during the ALCS. For all we know, this could be Team Cliff Lee's attempt at trying to bring more teams to the bargaining table. Then again, it could be true. He very well might have serious reservations about how he'll hold up in the Texas heat over the next several seasons. It's not like Texas has been successful with developing and bringing in quality free agent pitchers over their nearly 40 year history. All I'm saying is that with every rumor you hear over the next couple of months, be a little skeptical.