Cliff Lee is expected to choose between offers from the Rangers and Yankees on Monday.
While the free agent southpaw is off weighing pros and cons, we’re left wondering what he might do and trying to gather any clues.
So far the clue-finding has not been a fruitful venture. The guess here is that Lee will chase the most lucrative contract he can find — just like any free agent would — and all indications have the Yankees offering more guaranteed money.
Don’t tell that to Rangers manager Ron Washington, who was giving out optimistic quotes on the matter Saturday evening while being inducted into the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame:
“[My gut says] that he’ll be here,” opined Washington. “I think everything that needs to be done has been done. … We just have to wait.”
Lee, 32, registered a 3.18 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over 28 starts this past year. He struck out 7.84 batters per nine innings and turned in a league-leading 0.76 BB/9 (walks per nine innings). For reference, National League Cy Yong Award winner Roy Halladay came in second with a 1.08 BB/9.
The Yankees have apparently offered a seven-year contract worth around $161 million. The Rangers have only been willing to go as high as six years, but new reports allege that a proposal with a seventh year option may be on the table.
Starter Gerrit Cole has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to August 25, with posterior inflammation of his right elbow, the Pirates announced. Pitcher Steven Brault has been recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis for Monday night’s start against the Cubs.
Cole was scratched from Monday’s start on Sunday and instead traveled to Los Angeles to be examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache. The right-hander previously underwent an MRI which ruled out structural damage.
Cole hits the shelf with a 3.55 ERA and a 95/32 K/BB ratio over 114 innings. The Pirates entered play Monday a half game out of the second National League Wild Card slot, so losing him for at least two more weeks will sting.
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.