Are you buying this?
The Yankees all but had Cliff Lee on their roster two weeks ago. They are going to make sure they do not do anything to let him slip away again. That is a major reason they are hesitant to obtain Dan Haren from the Diamondbacks.
Now is the moment to stop reading if you believe the Yankees have no payroll guidelines. But if you believe Hal Steinbrenner is going to hold the payroll to about $200 million again in 2011 — and that is how the Yankees’ front office is operating — then it will be difficult to obtain Haren and still find the $25 million or so under the seat cushions for Lee. And Lee clearly is the Yankees’ top free-agent target of the coming offseason, just like he was earlier this month in the trade market
With Javier Vazquez and Andy Pettitte (and the $23 million the Yanks are paying the two) most likely coming off the books next year, that means the Yanks will need pitching. Filling those two spots with Haren and Lee would more than make up for the losses.
Let's say they do get Haren, are they really going to pass up a rotation of CC, Lee, Haren, Burentt and Hughes, to save money?