Thursday, December 9, 2010
Yanks Improve to 7-Year Offer for Lee
According to this tweet by Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated, the Yankees have moved into the next stage of the Lee sweepstakes with a 7-year offer. It has been reported throughout the Winter Meetings that a team was willing to offer Lee a 7-year deal, but that team was not the Yankees. Seems now the Bombers know they would have to up the ante from their original offering of a 6-year deal for Lee, as Carl Crawford just agreed to a mega-deal with the Red Sox for 7 years, $142 million. Crawford was to be the Yankees plan B if a deal with Lee fell through.
This is definitely crunch time for the Yankees. With Crawford out of reach, the only signing left that would make any major impact on their reign in the AL East would be for "The Assassin". If they don't sign Lee, their offseason efforts would be considered a failure and the Red Sox would be the true winners of the free-agent market this year, considering the Crawford deal and the trade for Adrian Gonzalez from the Padres.
No way that the Yankees would ever just allow that to happen, so they're doing what they have to. If going a 7th year for Lee is what has to be done, the Yankees are certainly able to make it happen. The Rangers, who are the other favorite in the Lee sweepstakes, are said to be unwilling to go beyond six years for Lee. Expect to hear about several phone calls being made to Lee from the Texas front office over the next few days as they try even harder to pitch his familiarity with the club and the comforts of being closer to home.
Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper