Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Cliff Lee agent: One team 'eliminated'
By Richard Durrett
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Darek Braunecker, Cliff Lee's agent, said Wednesday that one club is no longer involved in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes. He wouldn't say which team had been eliminated.
However, it's not the Texas Rangers, who met with Braunecker for about 30 minutes on Wednesday.
"We've had productive meetings," said Braunecker, who added he wasn't sure if he'd meet with the Rangers again before leaving Orlando either Wednesday night or early Thursday. "They're still in the mix."
Earlier Wednesday, Braunecker said his group knew more than they did on Tuesday in terms of negotiations involving Lee.
"We've eliminated a club and have zeroed in on a few things," Braunecker said.
It's unclear how many clubs may be involved in attempting to land Lee, though the New York Yankees and Rangers have been considered the favorites since the process began. Braunecker declined to say anything in regards to offers from any clubs.
Once offers start coming in, they might include, according to multiple reports, a six-year offer between $140 to $150 million by the Yankees.
"I'm willing to get serious," said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman on Tuesday.
If that happens, the question for the Rangers would be if they are willing to go to six years guaranteed for Lee, since they aren't likely to consider a seven-year deal for Lee.
Braunecker left the winter meetings on Wednesday, according to a source.
The Los Angeles Angels have also reached out to representatives for the free-agent left-hander, a source told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.
The Angels had previously been viewed as potential frontrunners for free agents Carl Crawford and Rafael Soriano.
The source could not immediately confirm if the Angels have made an offer for Lee. But Angels general manager Tony Reagins said Tuesday he has not made an offer to any free agents yet.
Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his mailbag. Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Andrew Marchand was used in this report.