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Cliff Lee and the Yankees — too soon!

Oct 22, 2010, 1:39 PM EDT

Cliff Lee AP

If you’re on the fence about who to root for tonight, this might help:

The Yankees are hoping for two painful, but ultimately successful confrontations with Cliff Lee in the near future: One from 60 feet, six inches tomorrow night, the other across a negotiating table in about six weeks. If all goes perfectly for the Yankees, they would beat Lee in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series and then have him join them in November or December on a free-agent contract.

That’s Joel Sherman. Who’s not at all wrong about that stuff, of course, and whose overall column is pretty astute in handicapping the Cliff Lee market. Key point: how could the Yankees (or anyone else) balk at giving Cliff Lee a contract through his age-37 season when A.J. Burnett is signed through age 36?

But no matter how many good points are made, man, it’s just nothing anyone wants to hear right now.

  1. lar @ wezen-ball - Oct 22, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    The PTI guys were debating the odds of the Yankees signing Cliff Lee in their Oddsmakers segment yesterday. I think one of them said 98% and the other said 75%.

    Not that either of them know what they’re talking about. But the fact that it’s a topic on their show *in the middle of the Rangers/Yankees* series (that, you know, the Rangers are leading 3 games to 2) just irks me to no end.

  2. bigharold - Oct 22, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    Ironically should the Yankees lose to the Rangers, especially of they are shut down by Lee Saturday, it likely increases the chance that the Yankees will sign him. It certainly will do a lot to boost their perceived need for him.

    • scatterbrian - Oct 22, 2010 at 3:54 PM

      Or it may convince Lee to stay with the Rangers. They have a pretty good thing going with a young, cost-controlled core, Washington running the show, and Ryan revamping how they view starting pitching. There’s a difference between the Yankees being able to overpay for Lee, and the Yankees being Lee’s first/best option.

      • bxcheer - Oct 22, 2010 at 6:03 PM

        Lee make not like the idea of living in NY, or he might be looking forward to taking advantage of all the things the NY area offers. Lee might want to be the undisputed staff ace or he might want to be one the pitchers on potentially the best staff in the AL. He might, as you say, like what the Rangers potential appears to be or he might opt for the Yankees ability to get in the playoffs year in year out.

        The only thing that certain is Lee will go where Lee wants and he’s going to get rich in the process. But, I’ve no doubt that the Yankees will offer him more than anybody else. Face it, it’s what they do. That by no means he’ll certainly end up a Yankee. But like the old saying goes, .. the race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong but that the way to bet.

  3. sdelmonte - Oct 22, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    Yankee haters can only hope that the Yanks are so busy looking ahead to facing Lee that they don’t focus on Lewis tonight. It sure feels like the reporters are doing that.

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