Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sherman: Yanks Favorites to Land Lee Despite Monday's Meeting with Rangers

From Joel Sherman:
The Rangers sent their top executives to meet Cliff Lee on Monday in an attempt to retain the free-agent lefty, but the strong feeling among executives canvassed is that Lee will end up a Yankee.

As one American League general manager said yesterday, “The Lee-Yankee thing can’t not happen.” And another AL GM said, “The Rangers could, in theory, spend to keep him, but I do not think they will take that risk long-term that the Yankees will be willing to take.”

Texas owner Chuck Greenberg, team president Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels were the contingent that went to Arkansas to meet Lee as Yankees GM Brian Cashman had done the week before.

“We did not have a dialogue with Cliff about the future since we acquired him [in July],” Daniels said. “We wanted to concentrate just on this season. So this was the right time now to talk about the future. We know that Cliff is going to have multiple attractive offers to pick from.”

An executive who worked for a team on which Lee played — and actually admires Lee — said he nevertheless believes the left will make his decision based on who pays him the most. Period. “And can anyone pay him more than the Yankees? I don’t think so.”
Coming into this off-season I thought there was a pretty good shot that Lee was going to end up staying in Texas, but after a few weeks of rumors and stories that's starting to change.

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