The Rangers went to visit Cliff Lee yesterday

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Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that a contingent from the Rangers flew to Arkansas yesterday to meet with Cliff Lee.

But wait! I thought he wasn’t listening! I thought he was in a duck blind somewhere, thinking about anything other than baseball. But I guess this is just arms race stuff, what with the Yankees having already sent Brian Cashman down.  “Ha! You sent your GM?  We sent a GM and two owners too!”

According to Andro the meeting lasted approximately two hours.  I’m going to assume unless told otherwise that the entirety of the conversation was about how awful New York and their fans are.

And just wait: tomorrow we’ll hear reports from Lee’s friends talking about how it was odd that Brian Cashman wouldn’t accept Kristen Lee’s offer of sweet tea, and how Chuck Greenberg sat in “the good chair.”  We, of course, will follow up with instant hot stove analysis of these critical developments.

Report: Yankees could be in on Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado
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The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.

The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.

Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.