John Clark of NBC Philadelphia was the first guy to track down Cliff Lee since the deal was announced, talking to him in what is either the Philly airport or a Barnes and Noble or something. I can’t tell. The video is below.
Lee doesn’t say anything terribly groundbreaking — I wish he would have made some Voltron references or something — but he does mention that his family enjoyed their time in Philly, that he liked his teammates and all of that.
That’s an angle that has been fun to think about. Everyone — myself included — made light of Cliff Lee’s wife saying that she hated New York, but there are some indications that family considerations had a lot to do with Lee’s choice. His own statements about them liking Philly, sure, but some people are suggesting that Kristen Lee wasn’t as big a fan of Texas as many people assumed. Kyle Scott over at Crossing Broad has a source who claims that while proximity to Arkansas was nice, it may have been too close, actually. Family visiting all the time, don’t you know. As a hermit who doesn’t always play nice with extended family, I can certainly understand that.
Anyway, here’s Lee:
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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.
In light of the Astros’ deal for veteran designated hitter Carlos Beltran on Saturday, the Yankees are thought to be intensifying their pursuit of free agent Edwin Encarnacion, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The Yankees never made an official offer to Beltran, but remain in need of a DH/first baseman to give them a little more power outside of a Tyler Austin–Greg Bird combo in 2017.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, are reportedly withdrawing their interest when it comes to the Encarnacion sweepstakes. According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, they will look for a hitter to beef up their lineup without taking a “big plunge” on the 34-year-old.
Encarnacion enjoyed another All-Star run with the Blue Jays in 2016, hitting at a .263/.357/.529 clip with 42 homers and a league-leading 127 RBI in 702 PA. He’s expected to command a significant contract in free agency, and agent Paul Kinzer said that a potential deal is unlikely to be finalized before the Winter Meetings as Encarnacion is not close to agreeing to any offer. Interested teams include the Blue Jays and the Astros, though Beltran’s signing appears to have effectively taken Houston out of the running for the slugger.