The Yankees and Derek Jeter are speaking again. That might not mean they’re close to a deal, but they’re talking, and that’s a pretty important part of any negotiation.
As for Cliff Lee, that seems to be anyone’s guess.
It could be that the Yankees have made an offer and the Rangers are preparing to counter. Or it could be that no one has submitted an offer to Lee, and his camp is waiting until next week to push toward a resolution during the Winter Meetings.
There’s no doubt Lee is drawing interest this winter, and the Yankees are in the running, but Lee is such a high commodity that he can dictate the terms of his negotiations. He doesn’t have to worry about a team settling for someone else.
There’s no one else like him on the market.
While the top candidates seem to be the Yankees and Rangers, the Rangers are something of an unknown. With a new ownership group, a new television deal and the bravado of a team that just won the pennant, Texas could make a significant splash and challenge the Yankees — though perhaps not match them — in terms of years and dollars.
It’s interesting that the New York Post uses five years as the contract benchmark. The idea of a CC Sabathia-like seven-year deal always seemed like a Lee pipe dream, but it would be in the best interest of the Yankees (or Rangers) to also avoid a six-year commitment.