Last night, a few comments from Hank Steinbrenner began making the rounds. As you might expect, he thinks it would be best for Cliff Lee to sign with the Yankees. Not sure these ideas have any impact on Lee’s upcoming decision, but here’s the bulk of the AP story.
NEW YORK (AP) — Hank Steinbrenner looks to Andy Pettitte when evaluating the risk of offering a seven-year contract to Cliff Lee.
The New York Yankees and Texas Rangers are waiting for a decision from the 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner, who is contemplating offers from both teams before making a decision on where to sign.
“For somebody of that stature, it would certainly behoove him to be a Yankee, which would probably be for the rest of his career,” Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ co-chairman, said during a telephone interview Friday with The Associated Press. “I think that would be a great move for him but, of course I’m prejudiced.”
New York offered a six-year deal to the 32-year-old left-hander on Wednesday worth $137.5 million to $140 million, then increased it to seven years the following day after Boston reached a $142 million, seven-year deal with All-Star outfielder Carl Crawford.
“Everything is progressing,” Steinbrenner said. “We made the offer. It’s a very good offer, and we certainly hopes he takes it. It’s all up to him and his agent. We’ll see what happens.”
Lee would be 39 in the contract’s final season, but Steinbrenner isn’t worried. He cites the example of Pettitte, who at 38 was 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA this year while missing two months because of a groin strain, a year after going 14-8 with a 4.16 ERA.
“Looking at how well Andy pitched up until this year and so forth, and he’s a lefty, the same kind of pitcher as Andy, I don’t really see a problem,” Steinbrenner said. “I think Cliff’s the kind of guy that can get it done and be effective for a long time. He’s a great pitcher.”