No deal at the Winter Meetings: Cliff Lee’s agent has left the building

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Darek Braunecker represents Cliff Lee. He’s been very busy during these Winter Meetings. No, not busy negotiating a contract, but busy telling various reporters about all the offers he’s fielding.  Really, there some reporters who won’t be able to order a drink down in the lobby tonight because they don’t know how to talk without Braunecker making their mouths move.

But that’s over now, because the buzz around here is that Braunecker has left the Dolphin Resort.  Which means that there is likely no chance of Lee signing between now and the end of the meetings tomorrow.

I’ve never negotiated anything bigger than a moderately-sized lawsuit settlement — and I tended to lose those negotiations — but I don’t get why this is so damn complicated. There are a finite number of teams in the bidding. There are no guys above Lee who need to set the market first. Everyone has cell phones. If Sotheby’s can auction off 15 Picassos in an afternoon, you’d think Braunecker could auction off Lee here.

Guess not.

Padres release Phil Hughes

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The Padres have released right-hander Phil Hughes. He was recently designated for assignment.

Hughes was traded from the Twins to the Padres at the end of May in a deal that was, essentially, the Padres acquiring a Competitive Balance pick and agreeing to pick up half of Hughes outstanding salary, which is $13.2 million in 2019. The Padres used him for 16 relief appearances but he was terrible, posting a 6.10 ERA.

The 32-year-old is a 12-year veteran. Given that he’ll basically be free to anyone who wants him, it’s not unreasonable to think he’ll get a non-roster invite to someone’s spring training next year, but it could very well be the end for him as well.