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Chuck Greenberg says he's going to try to sign Cliff Lee

Aug 5, 2010, 10:47 AM EDT

Maybe it was the adrenalin talking, but last night Chuck Greenberg said that he was going to do his best to sign Cliff Lee this winter.

I mentioned this earlier this morning but it kind of got buried so I’ll mention it again: last night, amidst the euphoria of winning the auction for the Texas Rangers, soon-to-be new Rangers owner Chuck Greeberg said some big stuff about the guy most considered to be a half-season rental: Now that you’re about to become the owner officially, how hard will you work to re-sign Cliff Lee?

Greenberg: We’re going to work really, really hard.
Cliff is not only a great pitcher; he’s an exemplary professional,
teammate and role model. We are going to do everything we can to keep
him. We’ve got a period of time where we’ve got a chance to demonstrate
to him how special it’s going to be to be a part of the Rangers family,
and that’s what we’re going to be, a family. We’ve got a great group of
guys on the team, a committed ownership and a great front office. We’re
going to do the best we can to show him he’s found a home and that this
is a place where he wants to be.

I guess that will be the first true test of whether the $85 million in extra cash and $68 million in overall sale price occasioned by the bankruptcy gambit and auction will impact the Rangers on the field.

I’d say that he has no chance if the Yankees get involved but, hell, this is the guy who just out-bid Mark Cuban so doubt him at your peril.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 5, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    I doubt him PRECISELY because he is the guy who just outbid Mark Cuban. Rangers fans who begged for the Ryan/Greenberg group to win will rue this day. They wouldn’t have competed with the Yankees/Red Sox for Lee anyway, but because of this bid, they were just handed the excuse they needed.

  2. t ball - Aug 5, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    Well, of course he’s going to say that. Look, no matter who won the bidding, they were going to have reasonable payroll budgets that make sense considering team revenues and the big picture. That didn’t change one iota yesterday. If Lee can be had for a price that fits the team budget, they’ll resign him. Nothing has changed. They’ll be happy to take the draft picks if it doesn’t happen.

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 5, 2010 at 11:23 AM

    The payroll budget for a Cuban-owned team would have been higher than the payroll budget for a Greenberg/Ryan run team. I don’t have any doubts about that.

  4. John_Michael - Aug 5, 2010 at 12:41 PM

    In his Bronx lair, Briah Cashman reads this post, pets his black cat named Outspend, watches the fireplace dance shadows on the mahogony wall with the embers of burning Ben Franklins, mindlessly twists his gold pinky ring round his digit and says to himself, ‘Of course you can try. Muahaha!’

  5. t ball - Aug 5, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    Why? I don’t care if Cuban has more money (which you haven’t proven). Why would any businessman plan to lose large amounts of money? If the team cannot support a huge payroll they will not have one, no matter who the owner is. There is a chance the team could support enough payroll to afford Lee if they go far in the playoffs. They are already selling more tickets now since the trade (with huge walkup sales on Lee starts) and will make money in the playoffs and next year as a result. That means a LOT more to their chances of keeping Lee than who the owner is.
    Businessmen are in business to make money. Cuban is not any more passionate about winning the Nolan Ryan or Chuck Greenberg (or Simpson and Davis, the money men in the deal).

  6. RichardInBigD - Aug 5, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    Winning or not, this town will be more supportive of the Rangers than ever before. We have just gone from having THE most hated man in Dalls/Fort Worth history (apologies to Lee Harvey Oswald) as owner of our baseball team to the polar opposite in Nolan Ryan. Regardless of his time in Queens, Anaheim or Houston, we claim him as our own, and the reverse seems to be true as well. If Nolan tells us that the only way to put a better team on the field is for more people to come out to the ballpark and buy more Rangers junk, we will do so. We love him, we trust him, and we are ecstatic that he is here…

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