The Angels are in on Cliff Lee too; Rangers to pay him a visit

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It’s not just the Yankees: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Angels — now free from the burden of having to pay Carl Crawford! — are bidding on Cliff Lee.

There’s not a ton of context to this and it’s hard to tell if it’s serious interest or, like Boston’s, merely head games, but the Angels do have some money to spend.  You figure Adrian Beltre is now their biggest target — and their roughly $100M offer to Crawford suggests that Beltre is more doable for them — but Lee wouldn’t be impossible if they’re sufficiently desperate.

In other Lee news, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Rangers are sending a delegation to Little Rock today to meet with Cliff Lee and his agent, Darek Braunecker, who decamped Orlando yesterday. One wonders — based on what Nolan Ryan said last night — if this meeting will be a “we want to leave with you signed. Tell us what you want and we’ll do it now; if not, we’re out” kind of meeting.

The Yankees have to have this in the bag, though.  With Boston adding $300 million in talent in the past four days, New York has to unleash a counter attack, right? Because this is war, and that’s what you do in a war.

Rob Manfred to get a five-year contract extension today

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The owners meetings are going on down in Atlanta this week. Unlike a lot of gatherings of baseball dignitaries, we tend not to get much news out of them, however. We know the owners do things like light cigars with $100 bills and, I dunno, play games of chess on human-sized chess boards with lower-level front office employees as the game pieces, but otherwise they tend to be quiet events.

There will be some news out of Atlanta later this morning, though: Commissioner Rob Manfred will be given a five-year contract extension. The vote, Bob Nightengale reports, is expected to be unanimous.

Manfred, 60, has held the job since January 2015. Major League Baseball has achieved record revenues during his tenure and his team landed a very owner-friendly Collective Bargaining Agreement on his watch. In light of that there was zero question that he was going to be re-upped.