Ken Rosenthal reports that “7-8 teams” have expressed interest already in free agent left-hander Cliff Lee. I’m interested in Cliff Lee too — he’s a good pitcher and I’m going to have to write about him for the next several years, after all — so let’s make it “7-8 teams + one blogger.” You can play that game all day if you want to, because no one has defined what “expressed interest” really means in a baseball context.
The fact is, the “expressed interest” rumor is about as baseline as it gets during the free agency season. It’s more respectable than reports of “internal discussions” or “kicking the tires” because those things imply that the team hasn’t even made a freakin’ phone call (I’ve had internal discussions about the divorcee that moved in across the street from me last month, but sources say that’s not going to get beyond the kicking the tires stage due to roster limitations), but it’s not an offer. And really, until there are offers all of this is so much chatter. Like I said the other day, we blog about even the chatter because we think that provides a service, but let us not go crazy about this sort of thing.
Anyway, for those of you who care about such things, Intrade currently has the Yankees as big favorites for Cliff Lee’s services, the Rangers next, the Mets and Nationals making the radar screen, and “field” doing pretty darn well. I don’t know that, absent any news of an actual offer, any of us can do any better than that.