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Heyman: The Rangers’ offer to Cliff Lee may contain an option for a seventh year

Dec 11, 2010, 11:21 AM EDT

Cliff Lee

While the baseball world waits for Cliff Lee’s decision, Jon Heyman of has an interesting update on what the Rangers may have offered the free-agent left-hander.

According to Heyman, the club’s original offer was for five years at $100 million. They improved their offer during their visit to Arkansas on Thursday with a “menu of better choices.” They have now guaranteed a sixth year in the contract, which is “believed to include some form of option that could turn the new deal into a seven-year contract.”

If true, the Rangers’ chances of retaining him are certainly a little bit better than they were on Thursday morning. However, will this latest offer be enough to trump seven years of guaranteed cash from the Yankees? I still doubt it.

  1. uyf1950 - Dec 11, 2010 at 11:42 AM

    Well this particular Yankee fan is getting a little tired of dog and pony show known as the “Cliff Lee Saga”. If he hasn’t been able to make of his mind by this time maybe he doesn’t wan to play for either team. The best offers from both the Yankees and the Rangers have been on the table for roughly 36 hours. What’s the big deal? Enough with the foot dragging on Lee’s (and his agents part), make a decision and let the respective teams move on.

    • jkcalhoun - Dec 11, 2010 at 12:19 PM

      A decision about who he wants to work for for the rest of his career? Sure, 36 hours is plenty. If he can’t make up his mind by now, he must not want to work at all.

      Hard to find good help these days.

      • professorperry - Dec 11, 2010 at 12:37 PM

        I can’t wait for Cliff Lee and true Yankee to be used in the same sentence …

    • pbannard - Dec 11, 2010 at 12:19 PM

      I understand fans getting tired of the “saga,” but if I were making a decision about who to work for and where to live for the next 6 or 7 years of my life, I’d probably want to take my time with it.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 11, 2010 at 12:41 PM

        He’s had time, and I’m not just talking about the last 36 hours. He’s known for at least the last 30 days it would come down to the Rangers and Yankees. Heck every body in the sports world including us fans knew the Yankees would offer the most money and the Ranger would be offering less money but pushing the whole “quality of life” thing. The latest offers this past week by both clubs are just the icing on the cake so to speak.

      • bigharold - Dec 11, 2010 at 2:27 PM

        Clearly he’d prefer to stay with the Rangers otherwise this is a no brainer. He’s known all a long what it was going to come down to, the Yankees mega deal or something he could “live with” in Texas.

        It would appear that the only reason he hasn’t announced his decision is because as long as he waits, there is still the possibility that Texas will get crazy and added that 7th year. He already got them to add the 6th, something that the Rangers wanted to do about as much as the Yankees wanted to add a 7th year.

        If he chooses the Rangers he’s leaving A LOT of money on the table so it’s easy to understand why he’s doing it. Sabathia wanted to stay in the NL and on the west coast so clearly it’s not a big deal if Lee takes a few more days to think things through.

        I posted before that Lee has been traded three times in the last two years and therefore clearly understands the business side of baseball. The last week or so is evidence of that so it’s not surprising why things are taking so long.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 11, 2010 at 4:02 PM

        bigharold, I don’t know that’s it’s clear he would rather stay with the Rangers with a deal he could “live with” as you say. It would seem to me that the Rangers offer this past Thursday had to be for at least $22M per for 6 years = $132M total. I say $22M per because it’s at or slightly more then what the Red Sox offered their 2 players (Crawford & Gonzalez). I don’t think the Rangers would insult Lee by offering him less per year. If he clearly wanted to stay with the Rangers he should have been able to make that decision Friday at the latest after the Rangers latest offer.
        As for waiting for the teams to increase their offers, I guess it’s possible but I get impression that both teams have made their final offers otherwise their would have been leaks especially if the Yankees increased their offer. That’s just my opinion.

  2. pisano - Dec 11, 2010 at 2:38 PM

    Some previous posts have brought up the way he got hit in the world series, maybe the Yankees should hope he picks the Rangers. Personally I hope he goes to the Rangers, I think they could do better with trading for a front of the order pitcher. I think this guy is going to be way over paid and with that kind of money plus a trade or two who knows what they could come out with. I read where they inquired about Liriano of the Twins, and there are others out there that will help. They have Ivan Nova that shows potential,so it’s not the end of the world if they don’t get Lee.

    • Adam - Dec 11, 2010 at 3:23 PM

      Sometimes paying straight cash for a player is better than paying prospects and cash.

      As for why he hasn’t signed, why should he? Every day he waits they’re throwing more and more money at him from both sides.

  3. Ari Collins - Dec 11, 2010 at 2:54 PM

    We’ll soon(ish) see if that “If Texas goes to six, Lee will sign there” hearsay is true or not.

  4. rick1922 - Dec 12, 2010 at 2:27 PM


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