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.
The Miami Herald reports that the Marlins and Martin Prado have agreed to a three-year, $40 million contracy extension.
Prado has been highly effective for Miami, hitting .297/.350/.405 over two seasons The Marlins were eager to keep him and many teams were no doubt interested in trying to sign him this winter as he stood pretty darn tall on a pretty weak free agent market. He may very well have done better than the $40 million he’s getting, but a qualifying offer could’ve made the free agency process a bit more drawn out one than he would’ve preferred. And, of course, he seems very happy in Miami, as evidenced by his increasing role as a team leader with the Marlins.
For his career Prado has hit .293/.342/.423 over 11 seasons. He’ll now be locked up through his age-35 campaign.
The Cardinals got shellacked 15-2 by the Reds, one of baseball’s worst teams, last night. In so doing they fell a half game behind the Giants for the second Wild Card.
Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote about last night’s game. What struck him was the reaction from the crowd at Busch Stadium:
And the fans, in a rare moment of pique, let the Cardinals hear about it, first booing and then erupting in a Bronx cheer when the final out of a seven-run fourth was recorded. They booed a little more later on and then many of them beat the traffic, with some of them at least leaving with a Grateful Dead T-shirt, a special theme night promotion . . . The paid crowd to witness the carnage was 34,942, snapping a string of 240 straight crowds here of over 40,000, dating to Sept. 24, 2013. Matheny said he noticed the reaction of the crowd and appeared to find little fault with it.
It’s been such a weird season for the Cardinals. Maybe the weirdest part of all has been how terrible they’ve been at home, with a record of 33-42. They have six more games at home, and they no longer control their own playoff destiny.
Is this booing and leaving a one-time thing, or will we see a lot more of it between now and Sunday?