Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Yankees Make Strong Offer to Lee

UPDATE (12/8/2010 at 10:15pm):  Darek Bruanecker apparently left the winter meetings with a 6 year $140M contract offer in tow.  Also, Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Cliff Lee could make a final decision by this weekend.

UPDATE (12/8/2010 at 7:55pm):  Lee's agent Darek Braunecker has left the winter meetings.  There definitely won't be a deal done today.

Original Post (12/8/2010 at 1:50 pm):  If you’re not sick of hearing me talk about Cliff Lee yet, you’re going to be soon.  In fact, by the end of the Winter Meetings, you’ll probably miss my daily musings on the Derek Jeter contract negotiations.  Consider yourself warned.

SI’s Jon Heyman reports the Yankees are prepared to make a monster 6 year $140-150M contract offer to Cliff Lee.  Is this really a surprise?  Not really.  When I texted Josh with the news, he responded with, “Sounds about right.”  In other words, this offer seemed inevitable.   

Quite frankly, this seems like a winning bid.  The Yankees have made it no secret that Cliff Lee is their primary target.  When they set their sights on signing a player, they almost always get their man.*  I know there’s been a lot of buzz in Orlando regarding the two mystery teams, but I remain skeptical that either team would be able to match the Yankees average annual salary offer of $25M per season. 

* I think the last time they didn’t sign their primary target was during the 2003-2004 offseason when Vladmir Guerrero went to the Angels.  If anyone can think of a more recent occurrence, please let me know.

That said, its unlikely Lee will sign a contract this week.  He and his agent will likely shop this offer around in hopes of getting a better one.  They won’t find one, but I understand their desire to shop around nonetheless. 

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