Here is a text message conversation between Ian Kinsler and Cliff Lee, via the New York Times. Currently, Rangers executives are meeting with Lee at his Arkansas home:
Kinser: “Well, just sign whatever they give you.”
Lee: “Let’s see what happens.”
Kinsler: “[I enjoyed being your teammate.]”
Lee: “I do, too, but we have to wait it out.”
Kinsler: “Just sign it.”
Lee: *Sent an image of a deer that a friend had shot*
This is nothing deliberate, but it is clear that Lee has not made his mind up yet. Even if he does want to stay in Texas, he is clearly willing to take other offers.
As of 12 am ET, the free agent market is
officially open. Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford will be
receiving quite a lot of phone calls. Lee is expected to go
to either the Rangers or Yankees, while Crawford has not
drawn much interest as of now, with just the Red Sox showing
minimal interest. Derek Jeter might also get some calls from
teams. It is 99.9% certain that he will go to the Yankees,
but, if something goes wrong, you never
Here is a quote from right after Game 6 of the ALCS from Cliff Lee:
“I love this city. I love my teammates. It’s going to be a good team for years to come. For my family, this couldn’t be a better situation.“Free agency is when a player finally gets a choice, and I’m looking forward to that. There are so many things that can happen. I’m just more focused on helping this team win a World Series. If we do that it would be hard to walk away.”
The Yankees dump $68 million off their payroll this offseason. Assuming that is the number the Yankees will work with (it may go up or down) here is a possible breakdown of how that money could be used.
A lot of people seem to think that the Rangers winning the World Series means that Cliff Lee will want to return to Texas. Yes, that would make sense for most players. Usually, the team that succeeds attracts the best players.