Cliff Lee should stay a Ranger in 2011

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Cliff Lee delivers to the San Francisco Giants in the first inning during Game 5 of Major League Baseball's World Series in Arlington, Texas, November 1, 2010.     REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Following another heartbreaking loss to the Giants in Game 5 of the World Series, Cliff Lee said that he would love to return to the Rangers in 2011.

“I don’t know if I’m going to be a part of it,” Lee admitted. “I’d love to be a part of it, but so many things can happen.”

Lee used a lot of “we” when talking about the Rangers after the game. It appears that Texas has stolen a piece of his heart and he truly enjoys being a part of the Rangers organization.

That said, money talks. This guy has been traded three times and has been a part of four different teams in the past two years and I’m sure he’d love to finally settle down with his family in one spot. The Rangers may be the frontrunners for his services, but they’re going to have come up with a decent offer. They’re not going to outbid the Yankees – nobody does. But they need to at least be in the same ballpark so Lee can feel appreciated. The Giants tuned him up twice, but he’s one of the best pitchers in the game and should be paid as such.

If the Rangers can keep Lee, they immediately become the favorites to win the American League next year. The Yankees showed their age in the postseason and while the Rays are young and powerful, they’re about to lose one of their most productive players in Carl Crawford (who is sure to leave via free agency this winter). Texas has a great offensive core in Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, Michael Young and even though he looked horrendous in the World Series, Vladimir Guerrero.

Their pitching staff thanks to C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis, Tommy Hunter and relievers Neftali Feliz and Alexi Ogando is solid as well, but it’ll look rather ordinary without Cliff Lee. Nolan Ryan needs to do everything he can to bring Lee back so the Rangers can take another run at things next year.

Break out your checkbook, Rangers.

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