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The Rangers are going to make a five-year offer for Cliff Lee

Dec 1, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

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George King of the New York Post reports that the Rangers are going to make a five-year offer to Cliff Lee. The Yankees may have already made one, with some putting the dollars at around $23 million a year, so they’ll have to top that. Or at least come close to it if you believe the stuff about relative tax rates and advanced metrics like WAR (Wife Agitation Rate) and APF (Arkansas Proximity Factor).

I don’t have any special insight into the Rangers’ front office on this point, but some people I talk to who say they know a little about them are skeptical that Greenberg and Ryan will lay out that kind of cash.  And given that they’re apparently interested in Zack Greinke and in doing things like moving Neftali Feliz to the rotation, they are certainly prepared to go on without Lee.

But at least now, with a second official bidder, things are about to get interesting.

  1. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 1, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    I know they’re obviously far apart players, but Cliff Lee making less money than Ryan Howard doesn’t seem likely.

    • uyf1950 - Dec 1, 2010 at 11:28 AM

      Actually when Howard’s new contract kicks in, in 2012 every single ball player in the Major Leagues except ARod and presumably Pujols will be making less then Ryan Howard. That includes, King Felix, Roy Halladay, CC and a host of other great players. If you think about it 25 players on an active ML teams roster times 30 teams substract ARod & Pujols. That’s 747 players that will make less then Howard. I’d say Lee is in very good company. The question really isn’t that Lee will be making less the Howard the real question is why is Howard making more then 747 other major league players the likes of which include Halladay and company.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 1, 2010 at 12:32 PM

        Well, it all comes down to what a team thinks it’s worth it to them to retain a big name like Ryan Howard. The Phillies will never pay a pitcher more than Howard in my estimation, per year? sure, but they won’t go more than 3 years. It’s kind of their policy with the arms.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 1, 2010 at 12:36 PM

        What would be fun? Guessing what Pujols gets…

      • uyf1950 - Dec 1, 2010 at 12:51 PM

        To Jonny 5 – I’m guessing for sure 7 years $31M per. Maybe 8 years at the same $31M per.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 1, 2010 at 2:18 PM

        My guess is 6 years max because of his back issues. @ 30 million per. I think Ryan Howard’s contract will be the measuring stick used, and if so Pujols is worth around 5 million more per. Not that those figures can make sense to us, but ball clubs have a different perspective on that as we can easily see. Does Puljos deserve more in years than Howard? I say yes, but the back issues have to be taken into consideration don’t they?

      • uyf1950 - Dec 1, 2010 at 3:00 PM

        To Jonny 5 – you are probably right about the years. if for no other reason the Yankees won’t need a 1st baseman and they are usually the only ones to go out longer then most teams in years. The only thing I can see is the ST. Louis offering him 7 years but other then that no one else. Boston won’t go out past 6 years. So I’m sure you’re right.

    • Jonny 5 - Dec 1, 2010 at 12:28 PM

      Why not? Halladay signed a 3 year 20 million dollar deal. And he’s better than Lee.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 1, 2010 at 12:31 PM

        You both make good points. I was trying to play Devil’s advocate, but I’m not buying my own take here. I would’ve deleted my comment if I could.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 1, 2010 at 1:00 PM

        Your probably right about Halladay. But they both are pretty good darn pitchers. With the exception of the 1st game of this years world series Lee’s post season record/performances are outstanding.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 1, 2010 at 1:03 PM

        To Jonny 5 – I have a hypothetical questions for you. What would you rather have seen? Halliday, Lee & Oswalt going forward or Halliday, Oswalt & Ryan Howard.
        After all Lee probably could have been had for the same dollars the Phillies signed Howard for.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 1, 2010 at 2:34 PM

        1950, Wow, that’s super tough. I don’t know. As a rushed decision off the top of my head? I’d take Lee over Howard. But I’m super nervous of going that long with a pitcher. I am a philly fan, and I’ve seen what that club has seen. 3 years is a good comfortable amount of years for a pitcher. You also can’t discount the fact that the Phillies also have Hamels as a legitimate ace too, so do they need another huge pitcher like Lee? Halladay Hamels Oswalt is nice, damn nice. I’d say they don’t need him at this point. So the shape the team is in now, even though it may sound totally insane to most baseball people, I pick Howard and his insane contract. And I’d grab up at least one more middlin’ starting pitcher because Kendrick isn’t cutting it. And Worley won’t either.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 1, 2010 at 2:45 PM

        To Jonny 5 – although not a Phillies fan as you can probably tell from my previous posts. I did live about an hour north of Philly in the 80’s in Bucks County. Since both of us agreed in a earlier post that more ofter then not long term contracts tend to favor the player. I’d have to go with Halliday, Lee & Oswalt for a 3 or 4 year run they would be lights out. I think the Phillies could always go out and get a very competent 1st baseman to replace Howard at half his current price. Legit aces of Halliday and Lees caliber don’t come around very often.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 1, 2010 at 3:12 PM

        To Jonny 5 – Another hypothetical question for you.

        It would seem in 4 years Halladay’s option year with the Phillies will be up. Then the Phillies will be faced with same dilemma as the Yankees this year. Halliday will be 37 at the end of the 2014 season (actually a year older then Jeter is now) and it will be time for a new contract. What to you think they do? Offer him a contract along the lines of what is is currently earning, for 2 or 3 years? Cut him lose? Or try and get him to go year to year at a reduced salary that his age would justify?

        Let me know what you think.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 1, 2010 at 3:32 PM

        ufy1950 – doesn’t that depend on how Halladay’s pitching? Had Jeter come out of his old contract last offseason, he’d already have the contract he’s currently looking for.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 1, 2010 at 3:37 PM

        I think that can’t even be thought about until that time. We have no idea what shape Halladay will be in by then. But if he’s still 85% of what Roy Halladay is today, I absolutely see him being resigned for 2-3 years and 20 per. They did 2 years for Moyer, and paid him very fairly.

        And to address the answer to your question of Lee,I’d sure as hell sign Lee to 3 years before Howard to 6 and then some. But that isn’t an option really, because Lee wants in years what philly won’t do any time soon. And I don’t think there are too many teams more “lights out” than Philly is now. Unless you average out SF, they’re close. And NY plans on being right there with Lee. But that hasn’t happened yet. Pitching beats hitting any day, but in reality lack of offense beat Philly in the playoffs this season. Which is crazy, and should never have happened, but it did.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 1, 2010 at 3:48 PM

        To Kevin S – I think you are partially correct. I think if Jeter had a better 2010 the Yankees would be more flexible. I do not think under any circumstances he would have gotten up to 5 years @ $22 to $24M per. Because aside from his numbers his age is a problem with the length of the contract. That and the fact the sons are running the show now. But there is not doubt that had Jeter had a better 2010 the Yankees would have been more flexible in the negotiations. How flexible is the question.

        My question to Jonny 5 revolved more around how old Halliday will be when his option year is up and what he would be worth to the Phillies at that time. Obviously if he pitches lights out through 2014 he will be worth more then if he has 1 or more down years during that time. But my question really is how much value should a team place on a 37 year old pitcher who is coming off a contract that pays him $20M per. Just like I commented about Jeter in previous posts 37 to 40 year old SS do not command the dollars Jeter thinks he is worth. Generally I have the same opinion of 38 to 40 year old pitchers. The ones that are successful are few and far in between and those that would justify a $20M pay check and an extended contract are even fewer if not non existent.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 1, 2010 at 4:29 PM

        And if they were willing to sign Moyer, then Halladay is a no brainer if he can still pitch almost as good as he does today. That’s what i think anyway. I kinda wish in a way that Moyer comes back and pitches another season in Philly after he’s patched up, if he’s good enough. He’s all class, and probably the best pitching coach the Phillies HAD. I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes but something tells me the old man had his hands in developing some Phillies, and helping them when they needed it. But then again, Halladay is doing that now through example. Hamels isn’t as great without the signing of Halladay. He’s been a changed man since.

  2. BC - Dec 1, 2010 at 11:09 AM

    $23mil a year for Lee? No way. And why the heck Texas wants to put Feliz in the rotation is beyond me.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 1, 2010 at 11:11 AM

      Because he’s got great breaking stuff and solid minor league starting stats:

      http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?pos=P&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=491703

      • BC - Dec 1, 2010 at 11:14 AM

        What do his minor league stats have to do with anything? The guy’s 32 years old. That, and he’s had back issues.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 1, 2010 at 11:15 AM

        They have to do with his historical success rate as a starter, and he’s 22 by the way.

      • tomemos - Dec 1, 2010 at 11:51 AM

        I think you guys are talking past each other: BC is talking about Lee and Matt is talking about Feliz. Anyway, BC, the obvious reason to put Feliz in the rotation is that a good starter is far, far more valuable than a good reliever, and probably worth even more than a great reliever.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 1, 2010 at 12:32 PM

        Tomemos – we’re both talking about Feliz. I believe he’s aware I was responding to his 2nd comment.

    • Kevin S. - Dec 1, 2010 at 11:12 AM

      Because good starters > good relievers. Feliz has the repertoire to be an above-average starter. That beats the hell out of a pretty good closer.

  3. uyf1950 - Dec 1, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    If one is to believe the various sports writers he is what is is faced with or will be faced with contract wise.
    From the Rangers: 5 years @ $23M (approximately) per = $115M
    From the Yankees: 6 years @ $23.33M (approximately) per = $140M

    People bring up about the benefit of Texas’s income tax. That can be more then offset in one year by the endorsements Lee will get playing in NY versus Texas, as well as other things.

    Nice dilemma to have, isn’t it?

    • uyf1950 - Dec 1, 2010 at 1:14 PM

      Let’s try that first sentence again. — If one is to believe the various sports writers this is what he is faced with or will be faced with contract wise.

      I guess that’s what happens when you hit reply before you proof the comment.

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