14 Dec 2010
Well, the stuff in italics is what I was piecing together before I read the Jon Heyman tweet saying the Yankees are out of the Cliff Lee sweepstakes. I was going to suggest that the Yankees pull their offer. Looks like that has been done for them.
I hadn’t gotten to it yet, but I was going to point out that while Boston is better, what other team in the AL East can say that right now? Tampa is certainly not and I don’t think Baltimore or Toronto are either. There will certainly be more competition from teams like Chicago, but the Yankees as presently constructed should be considered a strong contender for a playoff spot.
What I would do now is move Joba back into the rotation and go with Ivan Nova in the fifth spot. Andy Pettitte scares me at his age and he seems likely to retire anyway. To back up those guys, I would spend heavily in the bullpen. I would call Rafael Soriano and see how much money he wants to be a setup guy/stand by closer. Rivera pitched 60 innings last year, there are going to be plenty of save opportunities in the future for the rest of the bullpen and if I am the Yankees I would make that case to Soriano. They can certainly afford to pay him closer money now.
I would also sign Feliciano to be a lefty in the pen and get Russell Martin done. I’m going to sleep on this a bit more. Keep reading if you want to see my train of thought before this all went down.
This Cliff Lee dance is getting stupid. Now Lee and his agent have every right in the world to keep shopping for what they want, but the Yankees also have the right to change their mind. It’s obvious that Lee isn’t jumping at the chance to come to New York. He is reportedly talking to Philadelphia and seeing if they can come close enough money-wise to make it worth spurning the Yankees or Rangers.
You know what as a baseball fan, I hope Lee goes to Philadelphia. I never thought they should have traded him in the first place and you would have to think that a rotation of Doc, Lee and Oswalt would keep the Phils near the top of the NL for awhile.
As for the Yankees, yes it leaves a tremendous hole in the 2011 rotation. But as I have said multiple times, seven years is too long for Lee. The Yankees are banking on winning the World Series in 2011 or 2012 with this deal and I think they can still compete for the title without this deal. Signing this deal would lock the Yankees into paying over $100 million to A-Rod, Jeter, Sabathia, Lee and Burnett alone in 2013.