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How Can the Yanks Not Overpay for Cliff Lee Now?

By Mike Silva ~ December 9th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Yankees.

The Winter Meetings started off with two big surprises (Jayson Werth, Adrian Gonzalez), but were pretty tame this year. That ended late yesterday when Carl Crawford pulled off an upset and signed with the Boston Red Sox. By all accounts Crawford wanted to go to Anaheim, and Boston wasn’t even his first choice on the East Coast (Yankees were although the feeling wasn’t mutual). Money changes preferences so one would have to assume the Sox 7 year/$142 million dollar offer was significantly higher than Anaheim. There are also reports via NESN that Boston has offered Lee a 7 year deal. We should get the details as the day goes on, but we do know one thing for sure: the Yankees now are painted in a corner for Cliff Lee.

Could things go any better for Lee’s agent Darak Braunecker? He’s pulled the Yankees chief rival into the fray, and also has Anaheim, flush with cash, as a possible destination. Although I believe Lee would like to stay in Texas, I find it hard to imagine the Rangers can go to a seventh year (six would be a stretch for them), and I don’t see Lee turning down significantly more to stay close to home. If the money is close, maybe, but not at the kind of years/dollars we are hearing.

Logic would dictate that seven years is almost a necessity. Jayson Werth and Carl Crawford both received seven year deals this week. Different positions, but the market now has shifted towards that length for premium talent. Last year Matt Holliday also received a seven year deal from the Cardinals. How can Lee settle for less?

Brian Cashman called himself the “director of spending” for the New York Yankees. Most believe he will not go above 6 years/$150 million. With the Sox recent additions doesn’t a Cliff Lee-less Yankees appear to be second banana in the AL East? Considering that Chicago, Detroit, Texas, and Anaheim all are looking to improve this could look an awfully lot like 2008. Kids in the rotation and a playoff free October in the Bronx.

It’s now the Yankees move. How can they not overpay?

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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8 Responses to How Can the Yanks Not Overpay for Cliff Lee Now?

  1. Jimbo

    Correct about Crawford’s preference being Anaheim but their offer, in the wake of the Werth contract, was laughable. Incorrect about Yankees being preferred over the Bosox. CC despises the Yanks. I live in Tampa. I know.

  2. Stu B

    What I don’t understand is the connection between Lee and Crawford, how Crawford seemed to be viewed as a substitute for Lee. One’s an OF and the other’s a pitcher – an apple and an orange – and the Yankees are loaded in the OF. Crawford would not have improved the Yankees that much. No doubt the Yankees need Lee, but I don’t see how not signing Crawford makes them need Lee to any greater degree.

  3. Mike Silva


    Any insight as to why he hates the Yanks?

  4. Mike Silva


    The Sox offense is very solid now. They scored 5 runs a game with the pop gun types last year. With Crawford and Gonzalez they might have the best offense in baseball. Plus without Lee, I think the Sox rotation is superior, if healthy of course.

  5. Andrew

    Yankees have offered a seventh year according to Mark Feinsand. So there you go Mike you were correct.

  6. Stu B

    Mike – I agree with you, but any degree by which Crawford would have improved the Yankees’ offense wouldn’t help their pitching, which is obviously why they can use Lee.

  7. JT


    the idea was if they missed on Lee, sign Crawford and then trade one of the outfielders (+ prospects) for a #2-3 pitcher.

  8. Stu B

    That strategy might have backfired – good starting pitchers are in shorter supply and thus more valuable than outfielders.

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