Yankees make official offer to free agent Cliff Lee

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Cliff Lee’s agent, Darek Braunecker, made an early exit from the Winter Meetings on Wednesday afternoon after speaking with a range of different clubs about his client.

He did not leave empty-handed.

According to Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger, the Yankees made an official offer to the left-handed Lee on Wednesday and Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News suspects that it’s worth about $140 million over six years.  That’s about $23.3 million per season.

The Rangers will probably counter within the next couple of days — maybe tomorrow — and other teams will have to decide if they’re willing to engage in a bidding war with the two front-running clubs.

Lee, 32, posted a sparkling 3.18 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over 28 starts in 2010, striking out 185 batters against just 18 walks.  Like most free agents in his position, the Arkanas-born southpaw is probably going to chase the richest and lengthiest contract that he can find.

Watch: Shohei Ohtani strikes out his first spring training batter

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Sure, spring training games don’t count toward anything “real,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Angels’ star pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani mowing down his first big league competitors.

On Saturday, Ohtani took the mound against the Brewers for his first official outing in an Angels uniform. After allowing a leadoff double to Jonathan Villar, the 23-year-old righty settled down and issued a three-pitch strikeout to Nate Orf, his first of the spring.

It wasn’t the cleanest inning for the right-hander: the Brewers plated their first run on a walk, wild pitch and subsequent throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado. Ohtani didn’t let things unravel further, however, and induced a pop-up for the second out before catching Brett Phillips looking on a called strike three to end the inning.

While the two-way phenom only lasted another two batters (a Keon Broxton dinger finished him off in the second), he’s already started to look like a formidable presence on the mound. Time will tell whether he can deliver at the plate as well — rumor has it he could feature in the Angels’ lineup as soon as Monday.