Cliff Lee “doesn’t like to be the center of attention”

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We will continue to see this sort of thing until offers start flying. Do they mean anything? Doubtful. I must be sick, though, because I can’t get enough of them:

A look of panic crossed Cliff Lee’s face as he walked into the auditorium at the Holland Chapel Church one January evening this year, right before he and his wife, Kristen, were honored as Citizens of the Year by the Benton Area Chamber of Commerce for their charity work . . . “I don’t have to speak, do I?” a freaked-out Lee asked his friend . . . “That’s Cliff,” Brumley says. “He can pitch in the World Series before millions of fans, but he can’t speak to 500 people at a banquet. He doesn’t like to be the center of attention.”
Scare-mongering by the Daily News, I presume. Making people think that Lee will stay away from the big money in New York because he’s small-town.  Of course, these stories never seen to mention the fact that Ron Guidry and Mikey Mantle and a whole host of other Yankees stars came from Nowheresville. And that, in general, a huge part of baseball history is based on country boys coming to New York and conquering the world.
Oh well, it passes the time. And it gives you a chance to see Lee’s prom picture, which is fairly hilarious.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.