Here it comes.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, free agent left-hander Cliff Lee will decide on a club by the end of this weekend.
Lee has a formal offer in hand from the Yankees that is thought to be worth around $140 million over six years. He will probably get a matching offer or something better within the next 24 hours from the Rangers and maybe something similar from a few other teams.
But, by this weekend, he is going to have a decision. The biggest free agent on this winter’s market will be wrapped up with a bow before December 13.
Lee, 32, registered a stellar 3.18 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over 28 starts in 2010 with 185 strikeouts against 18 walks. We’ve heard rumors about him disliking the Texas heat and there was that thing about Yankees fans spitting on his wife. But he’s going to chase the money. That’s what free agents do.
So, who’s ready to pay up?
The Orioles announced, prior to Sunday’s game against the Yankees, that the club signed pitcher Tommy Hunter to a major league contract. In related roster moves, the club recalled pitcher Oliver Drake from Triple-A Norfolk and designated pitcher T.J. McFarland and outfielder Julio Borbon for assignment.
The Indians released Hunter on Thursday after he struggled in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus. Hunter was recovering from a non-displaced fracture in his lower back. The right-hander put up a respectable 3.74 ERA with a 17/5 K/BB ratio in 21 2/3 innings for the Indians.
This will be Hunter’s second stint with the Orioles. The O’s had acquired him along with first baseman Chris Davis at the trade deadline from the Rangers in 2011 in the Koji Uehara trade.
The Orioles are only responsible for paying Hunter the prorated major league minimum.
Orioles DH Mark Trumbo drilled a two-run home run to left-center field off of reliever Ben Heller in the eighth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Yankees. In doing so, he became the first player to reach the 40-homer plateau this season.
Trumbo finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon. Along with the 40 dingers, he’s hitting .257/.317/.541 with 96 RBI. He has already set a career-high in homers and is four RBI away from tying his career high in that regard.
Trumbo is eligible for free agency after the season. Needless to say, his performance in 2016 bodes well for his ability to secure a hefty contract.