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?
As far as ejections go, this is one of the stranger ones you’ll hear about. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was ejected in the bottom of the eighth inning of a game his team trailed at the time 18-6. Beltre was a few feet away from the circle towards home plate and was asked by Marlins pitcher Drew Steckenrider to get into the circle. So rather than step a few feet back to his right, Beltre picked up the circle and dragged it to where he was. And that got him ejected by second base umpire Gerry Davis. Manager Jeff Banister was also ejected after having a word with Davis.
Here’s a video from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:
Beltre, by the way, went 3-for-3 with a walk, a pair of doubles, and a solo home run. He’s now four hits away from 3,000 for his career.
Phillies shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford’s stock has fallen sharply this season. He had an abysmal first three months, batting .203/.321/.276 in 291 plate appearances. Baseball America rated him the 12th overall prospect in baseball going into the season and rated him No. 92 in their midseason top 100. It was bad.
Since the calendar turned to July, however, Crawford has been more like his normal self. In 92 at-bats this month entering Wednesday night’s action, he was hitting .300/.391/.650 with six home runs, 13 RBI, 18 runs scored, and a terrific 15/12 K/BB ratio.
Crawford padded his stats more on Wednesday night as he circled the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam. Via the IronPigs Twitter:
Crawford was actually dead-to-rights at home, but he fooled the catcher with a great late slide.
Crawford finished 1-for-3 with a walk along with the slam on the night as the IronPigs beat the Gwinnett Braves 8-2.