Cliff Lee is Going, Going, Going ... Gone?

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

This doesn't look good.

The New York Yankees make free-agent pitcher Cliff Lee an offer of six years between $140-$150 million. (UPDATE: How about a seventh year?!) Lee's agent, Darek Brauneker, puts the offer in his briefcase, leaves baseball's winter meetings early and flies to Arkansas to present the deal to Lee and his wife, Kristen, in person.

And your Texas Rangers? They inexplicably aren't in the mood to play poker.

"We don't want to get into a bidding war," says team president and co-owner Nolan Ryan.

Instead of making a counter-offer to the Yankees' ante, the Rangers gave Brauneker a unique, awkward cut-to-the-chase request: Tell us what it will take.


Agents, like auctioneers, don't like to be pinned down. Since the haggling ultimately drives up the price, they savor the give-and-take between multiple bidders.

"We need to find out where we are and not let things linger any further than they need to," Ryan says. "We want to know what it will take to keep him."

I understand Ryan's frustration, but he needs to understand that this - like it or not - is the way the game is played.

The Yankees' offer would make Lee the fourth-highest paid player in the history of the game. Seeing that Rangers' officials wrestled publicly and grumbled privately at a sixth year, a seventh might be the tipping point. And knowing that the Yankees' offer - further fueled by the rival Red Sox' acquisitions of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford - is probably a starting point more than a climax for their deep pockets, we're faced with this grim reality:

Cliff Lee may become a New York Yankee without the Texas Rangers ever even making a formal bid to keep him.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.