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Bidding for Cliff Lee likely to start at $120 million

Nov 21, 2010, 2:15 PM EDT

cliff lee on mound

More from the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo.

The Yankees and Rangers are locked in a battle for left-hander Cliff Lee, this offseason’s top free agent.  And it sounds like the Yanks may strike first with an offer.

Cafardo reports that Brian Cashman and Co. are preparing a proposal worth around $115 million-$120 million over five years.  The Rangers plan to match that and the numbers will go up from there.  Cafardo says that the Nationals are also in the hunt and have been “aggressive” thus far, but this feels like a two-team race.

Lee, 32, registered a 3.18 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over 28 starts for the AL Champion Rangers this year, fanning 185 batters while walking only 18.  There was a report in mid-November that Lee dislikes the Texas heat.  And then there was that issue with Yankees fans harassing Lee’s wife during the ALCS.  Believe what you want, but we’re thinking he’s simply going to chase the most lucrative deal.

For reference, CC Sabathia landed a seven-year, $161 million deal from the Yanks two offseasons ago.

  1. uyf1950 - Nov 21, 2010 at 2:41 PM

    Regardless of which team wins the “bidding war” it probably will go to about 6 years $150M total. With that much money he can have his boots custom made. Let the madness begin.

  2. proudlycanadian - Nov 21, 2010 at 2:53 PM

    A foolish team and its money are soon parted.

  3. gt929 - Nov 21, 2010 at 3:17 PM

    Mr Silva- Cliff Lee did not make 28 starts for the Rangers. He played half the season with Seattle. His Ranger stats were 3.98, 1.06 WHIP in 15 starts, not counting the playoffs.

  4. iffster68 - Nov 21, 2010 at 6:06 PM

    Yankees will give Lee a blank check. Old news

  5. Reflex - Nov 21, 2010 at 6:25 PM

    Whoever signs Lee for more than three years will regret it.

  6. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Nov 21, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    Last year with the Phillies Lee was looking for $29 million per.

    • paperlions - Nov 22, 2010 at 7:32 AM

      The Phillies and Lee never discussed a contract extension….and if they would have he wouldn’t have started by asking to be the highest paid pitcher in the leauge.

    • Jonny 5 - Nov 22, 2010 at 8:32 AM

      I’ll be happy with Roy at 20 per….

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