When last we considered Cliff Lee, we were hearing word that he had two seven-year offers on the table. The guy reporting that was Jon Heyman. Since then, many people have voiced their skepticism that there really are two seven-year offers out there. And not just guys like me who consider Heyman to be a fairly untrustworthy source of anonymous offer rumors. Guys like Ken Davidoff and Joel Sherman — who tend to be more right more often about such matters — are doubting Heyman here. Worth noting.
But even if the specific rumors of seven-year deals are questionable, there is no question that there are a lot of teams interested in him. the Washington rumors won’t go away, and now people are saying that Anaheim may be talking to Lee’s agent as well. Throw in the obvious suspects of New York and Texas, and a bidding war could erupt.
I just don’t believe it will be a bidding war in which seven year offers are thrown around.
Free agent right-hander Chris Tillman is narrowing his pool of potential suitors, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Returning to the Orioles is one option, of course, but Heyman also mentions another two undisclosed teams who are still in the running. An earlier report from Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun suggests that as many as four teams may be in the mix; either way, a final decision is expected by Monday.
Tillman, 29, has spent the entirety of his major league career in Baltimore. After posting career-high numbers in 2016, his progress was derailed during an injury-plagued 2017 campaign, during which he missed nearly six weeks on the disabled list with recurring right shoulder inflammation. He finished the season with a bloated 7.84 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 4.9 SO/9 over 93 innings.
While the mystery teams have yet to reveal themselves, the Blue Jays, Twins and Tigers have all expressed interest in the veteran right-hander this offseason. Both the Blue Jays and Twins have made big moves to bolster their rotations over the last few days, with the additions of Jaime Garcia and Jake Odorizzi, respectively. That doesn’t mean that Tillman is out of reach, however — if his price is right, he could provide some much-needed depth for pitching staffs that finished 15th and 22nd in the league last year.