The Lee deal has to be done before gametime tonight


Buster Olney reports that the Yankees want a resolution regarding
Cliff Lee “before the game” this evening. Olney also says that the Yankees told the
Mariners that their current offer is their last and best offer.  There has been no serious suggestion that the Mariners are balking. And keep in mind — while we’ve been talking about this for nearly seven hours now, it’s still only 9:15 AM in Seattle.  If you’re in the Mariners’ front office you get a cup of coffee, you check your fantasy standings, you accept the Yankees’ offer and you get on with your day.

Also, Olney and others are reporting that the Yankees have not asked for a negotiating window during which to work out an extension for Lee.  Which makes sense, because if the Yankees won’t talk about extensions during the season with Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, why in the hell would they do it for Lee?

Besides, it’s not like the Yankees won’t be able to match any offers for Lee if he decides to his free agency this winter.  If Lee wants to stay in New York, he will.  If he doesn’t, it will be for reasons other than money, and those are things the Yankees can’t do a thing about anyway.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

Bob Levey/Getty Images

No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.