Cliff Lee’s agent responds to Nolan Ryan: “That’s not the way the process works”

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Last night Nolan Ryan talked about the Rangers wanting agent Darek Braunecker to “tell them what it would take to sign” Cliff Lee.

This afternoon Braunecker responded by speaking to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com about Ryan’s request and basically pointed out that negotiations where one side is fielding offers from multiple bidders don’t really work that way.

Here’s more from Braunecker:

We have no interest in participating in the unconventional negotiating style the club has requested. For the player to submit an offer to the club … that’s not the way the process works.

In other words, why should Braunecker “tell them what it would take to sign” Lee when not telling them could lead to the Rangers bidding more than “it would take.”

At this point it appears as though Braunecker has done everything right and manipulated the situation perfectly, so it’s no surprise that he balked at Ryan’s request. Rangers officials are reportedly traveling to Arkansas today to meet with Lee and Braunecker, but Ryan hinted yesterday that the Yankees adding a seventh year to their offer “makes it more challenging for us.”

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.