Taking On Cliff Lee’s Contract

In an unsurprising turn of events, the Phillies placed Cliff Lee on waivers yesterday. There were some rumors that the Yankees had talked to the Phillies about trading for the starting pitcher before the trade deadline, but only to hit an impasse when the Phillies GM Ruben Amaro demanded top prospects and refused to include money. Now that we’re into August, players must be put on waivers to be traded. If Lee clears waivers, or the Yankees put in a claim, there is a possibility the left hander could finally wear pinstripes. To be honest, I thought the time of Continue reading Taking On Cliff Lee’s Contract

Cliff Lee has a point

In case you missed it, Cliff Lee was recently interviewed by Angelo Cataldi of WIP radio in Philadelphia and made some choice comments regarding the Yankees and why he passed on the opportunity to play in the Bronx. Deadspin has the report. (BTW-The original post was written by Chris Fedor of Sports Radio Interviews. For the complete highlights and audio of the interview, click here.) “Texas probably finished second to be honest with you. Just as far as the quality of the team and the chance to win a World Series ring, I think they’re a better team. That’s just Continue reading Cliff Lee has a point

Midnight Tweets (updates on Chuck Greenberg, Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore)

(Hey, all you people that tryin’ to sleep, I’m out to make it with my Midnight Tweets) SI_JonHeyman Jon Heyman Chuck greenberg is out as texas rangers managing partner after 7 mnths. Jeff wilson, ft. worth star-telegram, 1st suggested  chuck greenberg managed to upset a lot of people as managing partner but undoing came after he upset nolan ryan (sources) Deadspin The Yankees Were Last On Cliff Lee’s Wish List deadspin.com BloggingBombers Ivan Nova, on whether the wind was blowing out on Jose Bautista’s homer: “If I strike him out, the wind doesn’t matter.” NYPost_Kernan #Yankees Phil Hughes: “cutter was Continue reading Midnight Tweets (updates on Chuck Greenberg, Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore)

Playing the ‘What if’ game with Cliff Lee

Brian Cashman was recently interviewed by Larry Stone of the Seattle Times about what went down in the ill-fated Cliff Lee negotiations. Given how things have played out since, we now have some context to put those trade talks into. But as Brian lays out, we are are still left with many unanswered questions. He begins: “It is what it is,” Cashman said Tuesday. “You don’t have a deal until you officially have a deal. Our guy, Adams, didn’t pass the medicals. They went back to the original stuff I had been saying no to all along.” Brian is referring Continue reading Playing the ‘What if’ game with Cliff Lee

Cliff Lee aftermath: Yankees fans should leap for joy

Note: This updates an earlier post on the Cliff Lee deal that focused more on Lee’s decision. This one examines the non-deal from the Yankees’ perspective. This morning’s response from Yankees fans to Cliff Lee’s decision to sign with the Phillies ran the gamut from grief to anger, spite to despair. Let’s be clear: the 2011 rotation sans Cliff Lee has a lot of question marks. There’s no doubt the team would have been stronger this season with Lee than without him. But, for several reasons, Yankees fans should be ecstatic with the outcome of the negotiations. First, there’s Lee’s Continue reading Cliff Lee aftermath: Yankees fans should leap for joy

Obligatory Cliff Lee posting

If this sounds forced, know that it is. I’m more than sick of Indecision 2010: Cliff Lee Edition. As far as updates go, I think this is absolutely the one thing I wanted to read:

No more years. No more dollars.

If Cliff Lee is waiting for the Yankees to up their offer before deciding between The Bronx and Texas, the saga is going to continue.

Nope, not even a “mystery team” will force the Yanks to up their already extravagant Chinese Menu offers. Which is fine by me. If he wants the Yanks, great. I’m going to be ecstatic if that’s his decision. If he wants Texas, I will be disappointed but no tears will be shed. The Yanks will have a heckuva battle ahead of them next year no matter what.

Until we get real info, we’re going to have to deal with all of the “tea leaf reading” done by everyone. I’m sick of it and I am sure you are as well.

UPDATE: Buster has his latest “heard this” (via Twitter):

Heard this: Darek Braunecker, the agent for Cliff Lee, has been in touch with the Yankees today and said the process is on-going;stay tuned.

Sigh. We will, Buster, because we have no choice. Continue reading Obligatory Cliff Lee posting

Cliff Lee’s Worth (The “No Panic” Edition)

Don’t you just love the mainstream media?

The MSM narrative is that the Yankees are “reeling” from the BoSox signing of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez. Never mind that the Yankees never tried to sign either Crawford or Gonzalez, and have no pressing need for a new first baseman or left fielder. The MSM perceives that the Yankees have reacted with “knee-jerk panic” to the dual Boston signings, and that the team is now “desperate” to sign Cliff Lee away from the Texas Rangers. This desperation is evident to the MSM in the team’s decision to extend a 7-year contract offer to Cliff Lee. Apparently, no team offers a seven year contract unless the management of the team is not right in the head. This seven year offer is described in one article as “insane”.

Of course, the Red Sox (betraying no reported sense of panic or evidence of insanity) just signed Crawford to a 7-year deal, and is close to signing a similar deal with Gonzalez. *sigh*

Let’s get rational here. The Yankees have offered Cliff Lee a 7 year contract at $23 million per year. Sure, we know that baseball performances are unpredictable, and the performances of pitchers are particularly unpredictable. But is the Yankees’ offer too good, too rich, for too many years?

The evidence is otherwise. Assuming that Cliff Lee can turn in a more or less expected performance over the next seven years, the Yankees have not offered to overpay for him. In fact, if Cliff Lee follows his predicted path from this point forward, the Yankees’ current offer of 7 years at $23 million per year will be a good deal for the Yankees. Moreover, even if Cliff Lee does not perform quite as well as expected, the Yankees will still be getting a reasonable deal at 7 years/$23 million. Sure, there’s a risk that the Yankees could regret this contract … but that risk exists in every long-term baseball contract, and the Yankees are better able to afford this risk than any other team in baseball.

So … while we all may worry that Cliff Lee may spurn the Yankees’ latest offer, we should not worry about the financial consequences if Lee says “yes”. There is no panic evident in this contract offer. The only thing I see evident in this offer is that both the Yankees and Cliff Lee are savvy negotiators and have on the table an offer that reflects Lee’s true worth as a ballplayer.

To prove my point, let’s go to the numbers.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Cliff Lee’s Worth (The “No Panic” Edition)

Goldstein: The (Cliff Lee) Winner Finishes Second

Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus recently published a piece (subs required) where he posits something that I know many Yankee fans have been ruminating about in recent days, myself included. The money and years in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes have reached a point where the team that loses the bidding will ultimately be better off. He writes: Meanwhile, we continue to wait, with Rangers fans hoping to keep the hero that led their team to their first World Series, and Yankee fans wishing to prove that their team’s financial might can bring them the biggest free agent name once again. Continue reading Goldstein: The (Cliff Lee) Winner Finishes Second

Book it: Cliff Lee is going to be a Yankee

As we continue to wait on Cliff Lee, my confidence that he’s coming to the Yankees was emboldened by Jon Heyman’s and Tom Verducci’s latest columns for SI.com. Heyman writes (emphasis mine): “In the race for free agent left-hander Cliff Lee, people familiar with the talks indicate that the New York Yankees have a big advantage over the Texas Rangers in terms of total guaranteed dollars offered and also have one more guaranteed year currently on the table.“ Heyman also reiterates Lee’s apparent love of the Rangers and the proximity to his home in Arkansas. However, the most important nugget Continue reading Book it: Cliff Lee is going to be a Yankee