It’s hard to put a real finger on why, but things seem to be trending toward the Rangers today on the Cliff Lee rumor front.
Maybe that’s natural. Since the Winter Meetings began, and even before that, the Yankees have seemed like the favorite to land the ace left-hander. Perhaps these optimistic Rangers bits are working as a kind of media-driven balancing act. Like a run of hey, they’re nice too stories.
Or maybe it’s all for real and the Rangers are going to win this thing. Listen to this:
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told George King III of the New York Post Sunday that he will not improve the club’s current seven-year proposal to Lee, thought to be worth close to $161 million. They’re done adding years and money.
As far as we know, the Rangers have only been willing to offer a six-year contract and will probably not move north of that unless it’s in the form of a seventh year club option. That means Texas is offering less total guaranteed money, no matter what the average annual salaries look like.
But, as we touched on earlier today, there are reasons a guy like Lee might turn down the extra millions to remain in the Dallas area.
His Arkansas home is not far from Arlington, he has a strong relationship with pitching coach Mike Maddux, and it’s not like the Rangers are offering chump change. He can still retire on a big ranch in Montana, buy a penthouse in Miami, custom order an 80-foot yacht, or whatever else filthy rich athletes do.
Maybe Lee will take Texas’ six-year deal, confident in his ability to make that seventh year happen.