It’s hard to put a real finger on why, but things seem to be trending toward the Rangers today on the Cliff Lee rumor front.
Maybe that’s natural. Since the Winter Meetings began, and even before that, the Yankees have seemed like the favorite to land the ace left-hander. Perhaps these optimistic Rangers bits are working as a kind of media-driven balancing act. Like a run of hey, they’re nice too stories.
Or maybe it’s all for real and the Rangers are going to win this thing. Listen to this:
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told George King III of the New York Post Sunday that he will not improve the club’s current seven-year proposal to Lee, thought to be worth close to $161 million. They’re done adding years and money.
As far as we know, the Rangers have only been willing to offer a six-year contract and will probably not move north of that unless it’s in the form of a seventh year club option. That means Texas is offering less total guaranteed money, no matter what the average annual salaries look like.
But, as we touched on earlier today, there are reasons a guy like Lee might turn down the extra millions to remain in the Dallas area.
His Arkansas home is not far from Arlington, he has a strong relationship with pitching coach Mike Maddux, and it’s not like the Rangers are offering chump change. He can still retire on a big ranch in Montana, buy a penthouse in Miami, custom order an 80-foot yacht, or whatever else filthy rich athletes do.
Maybe Lee will take Texas’ six-year deal, confident in his ability to make that seventh year happen.
Former Tigers infielder Casey McGehee has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
It’s the fourth move the corner infielder has made in the last two seasons after seeing short-term stints with the Marlins, Giants and Tigers. He signed a minor league deal with the Tigers prior to the 2016 season, providing the club with some infield depth behind 24-year-old Nick Castellanos. When Castellanos hit the disabled list in August with a broken hand, McGehee was recalled from Triple-A Toledo for a 30-game stint and slashed .228/.260/.239 with one extra-base hit in 96 PA. His career batting line (.258/.317/.384 over eight seasons) isn’t too shabby, but his age and a long history of knee injuries puts a damper on his potential.
McGehee last appeared in the NPB circuit in 2013, when he signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. He spent the bulk of his season at the hot corner, batting an impressive .292/.396/.515 with 28 homers in 590 PA and appearing in the Eagles’ first and only championship run to date.
The deal comes with a club option for 2018, Rosenthal reports, though no figure has been specified.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.