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Report: Cliff Lee now has two seven-year offers on the table

Dec 7, 2010, 6:55 PM EDT

Cliff Lee

Crazy is contagious in Orlando, it seems.

Get this. According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, Cliff Lee now has not just one, but two seven-year offers on the table for at least $20 million per season.

The thing is, it’s not clear who these teams might be, as both the Yankees and Rangers were reportedly reluctant to give a seven-year deal. That’s right. We have two mystery teams are in the mix for the free-agent left-hander.

One thing we do know is that the Angels aren’t one of them. According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, Angels general manager Tony Reagins said he has not many any formal contract offers to Lee, or even Carl Crawford, Adrian Beltre or Rafael Soriano, for that matter.

  1. proudlycanadian - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:03 PM

    Two Mystery teams? Boras was usually satisfied to only mention 1 mystery team.

  2. Utley's Hair - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:12 PM

    Jon Heyman offered him seven years to keep people paying attention to his reports.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 7, 2010 at 9:23 PM

      Why not 7 teams at 7 years for the symmetry. I am sure that 7 teams would be willing to offer him $7 million a year for 7 years.

      • Utley's Hair - Dec 7, 2010 at 11:11 PM

        7 teams for 7 years at 77 million, plus 7 million more per year at 7 wins and 77 Ks, but he’s gotta wear No. 77.

  3. Ari Collins - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:12 PM

    I’ve been thinking about it a lot today, and I wouldn’t mind if my BoSox were one of those two. I think you overpay when you have a chance at the second-best pitcher in all of baseball. And I think you’d be overpaying in years, not even salary, given what he gives you as long as he’s healthy. As long as you’re a contender, and not, say, the Nationals, paying for what he’d give you in the first few years of the deal would be worth it.

    • bloodysock - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:15 PM

      Theo is not signing a 32 year old pitcher to a seven year deal.

      Plus, he’d need to move Dice-K.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:16 PM

        You don’t let Dice-K of all people block you from getting Cliff Lee. Especially since it’s clear the Sox are willing to move him in the right deal.

      • Reflex - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:25 PM

        Your crazy if you think a seven year deal would be good for any team, much less the Sox. Lee is injury prone, leaving his prime, and really only has about 3 truly great seasons on his resume and a lot of mediocre to slightly above average seasons. Plus he did not perform well outside of the NL or pitchers parks, check his numbers in Arlington. He’s also a fly ball pitcher, put him in Fenway or Yankee stadium routinely and he’s gonna get lit up.

        I enjoyed him in Seattle this year. I think he’s also a high character kind of guy. But any team that gives him more than four years is going to regret it. And if they play in a hitters park in the AL they will regret it for more than just durability reasons.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:34 PM

        He’s got 210+ IP each of the last three years, which is pretty good for an injury prone guy. And sure, his half-season in a hitter’s park in the AL resulted in #2 numbers instead of #1 numbers, but no one puts up #1 numbers there. His ERAs with other AL teams the last three years are 2.54 with CLE, 3.14 with CLE, and 2.34 with SEA. Granted, Seattle’s a pitcher’s park, but Cleveland isn’t.

        I’m not saying he’s going to be great for seven years. But I’d bet he’ll be great for 4 or 5, and I think that’s worth it, if you’re a contender. The guy’s pretty clearly the 2nd best pitcher in baseball, and when you get an opportunity to get a guy like that, you take it.

    • thinman61 - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:26 PM

      It won’t be the Sox. What money they have left under the luxury cap will be spent on relief pitching, a right handed outfield bat, and roster filler.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:45 PM

        I agree it’s unlikely. But not because of the luxury cap, I’m pretty sure they’re well under it. They only have $130M or so guaranteed to players right now, and the luxury tax is, what, $170M or $180M? Plenty of room for Lee in there.

        Still unlikely for other reasons, like lots of competitors and a general unwillingness to give long deals to pitchers.

      • thinman61 - Dec 7, 2010 at 8:28 PM

        Pete Abraham had a nice breakdown of the finances on the Globe site today. It’s all about looking ahead to the future. Beyond this year, the Sox have $90M allocated to 8 players for 2012. Add a Crawford or a Lee and that goes up to $110M for 9 of the 25. That wouldn’t leave them with a lot to work with to shore up the bullpen and fill out the roster, nor would it leave them much wiggle room for in-season trades.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 7, 2010 at 9:29 PM

        Many thanks for pointing out that article! Interesting breakdown.

        Well it might be more difficult to round out such a roster than the Sox might like, it’s do-able, since so many ‘pen members and the bench are so often filled with guys still under team control. I mean, this year a lot of the bench/’pen spots will be filled with guys like Eric Patterson, Jed Lowrie, Felix Doubront, Daniel Bard, Ryan Kalish, and probably others I’m forgetting.

        More importantly, there’s only another three years left with the core of Pedroia-Youkilis-Gonzalez-Lester-Buchholz all together, so the Sox might want to take advantage of that. Making it a Pedroia-Youkilis-Gonzalez-Lester-Lee-Buchholz core would greatly increase the chances of winning a championship during that core’s time together.

  4. Ari Collins - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:16 PM

    Tough to keep up. Apparently Cashman is “willing to get serious,” and is preparing “a very lucrative offer” when he meets with Lee’s agent tonight.

  5. Jonny 5 - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:17 PM

    The more I think about, the more I must admit Ruben Amaro is a freaking genius for landing Halladay, and signing him to his current contract.

    • Ari Collins - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:19 PM

      Although I still hate that he traded Lee for a poor return, I *strongly* agree. $20M a year for only three years? Way to get a discount, Ruben.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:38 PM

        Halladay wanted to come here. He would have put his name on any contract to come here. And he figures after 3 years he will still own the NL and he will get what he wants in another 3 year deal. Lee is a money-hungry guy. Doc is not. Let’s not forget that while we build Ruben’s shrine for “his” 2008 championship team, built by Ed Wade, Mike Arbuckle(who should have been named GM), and, most importantly, Pat Gillick. Ruben is at best one lucky son of a bitch. I’m just glad he is here bringing his luck to the Phightins

      • Adam - Dec 7, 2010 at 9:33 PM

        Chris, you’re knocking Lee for trying to get the most money he can? You don’t even know what teams have offered him contracts and you’re already bashing the guy. Nobody’s released teams, dollars or, most importantly, WHERE he’s going.

        He’s been traded 3 times in the last 2 years, I think he deserves the opportunity to go wherever he wants and get as much as he can.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 7, 2010 at 10:00 PM

        Agree with Adam regarding Lee’s demands. There’s nothing greedy about taking an extra year or two of job security and, say, a 15% higher salary. I think an awful lot of us would move to a different city for that kind of thing, even if it was a city we didn’t like as much.

        That Halladay really wanted to live and work in Philadelphia and took a paycut to do it isn’t some sort of sign of a higher morality. He just has different priorities. And having salary as a high priority doesn’t make you greedy.

        Totally agree with Chris about Ruben Amaro, though.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Dec 8, 2010 at 8:23 AM

        Whoa…hold on a second boys. Read my post. Where did I “knock Lee” or call him “greedy” or having less morals than Halladay? All I said was this… “Lee is a money-hungry guy…Doc is not” I think that’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? Doc decided he wasn’t after the money…otherwise, he would have done exactly what Lee did, which was wait until he was a free agent and get himself a 7 year deal. From everything I have heard, from respected guys like Jayson Stark, Lee has ALWAYS been about getting the biggest possible deal for the longest possible years with any team, so long as he gets a no-trade clause. I didn’t call him greedy or immoral…just money-hungry, in relation to Doc. What’s wrong with that? Am I wrong?

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 8, 2010 at 8:45 AM

        Yeah, so Ruben didn’t build this team. But he did land Lee for nothing basically and used him for the playoffs and the WS. Then he traded him away and got basically nothing back, although Aumont is up to being ranked #383 of all minor leaguers, not bad. WIP….
        He landed Halladay for a huge discount. He landed Oswalt for a HUGE discount. And he hasn’t done much in the “questionable” category besides the Huge Howard contract, and Baez so far. I’d say he’s doing a g@d d^mned good job so far boys, and luck doesn’t have as much to do with it as you think. most of it is the result of hard work and smarts. So before you tear up Amaro and say it’s all luck, think about it some, because he must be the luckiest motha this side of the grand canyon if that’s the case. Jamie McCourt’s on the other side.

  6. jfk69 - Dec 8, 2010 at 12:54 AM

    You want seven years…You got it.
    Now the terms. You will not be paid if you have any injury related directly or indirectly to your pitching arm. This includes your shoulder all the way to the tippy tip of your pitching pinky. I will only pay you if you can physically perform and fulfill your starting pitching role.
    Here is my pen. Please sign the seven year contract

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