Yankees offer Cliff Lee six-years, $140 million?

Texas Rangers' pitcher Cliff Lee pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the eighth inning of game one of the World Series in San Francisco on October 27, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch Photo via Newscom

Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Yankees have offered free agent Cliff Lee a six-year deal worth around $140 million. If C.C. Sabathia’s contract in December of 2008 can be used in comparison, then Brown’s figures sound right.

The Yankees signed Sabathia to a seven-year, $161 million contract in ’08. While Sabathia had two more years added onto his contract, he was also four years younger than Lee at the time of the deal. If Lee signs with the Bombers, that would mean the Yankees would be paying their top two pitchers roughly $46 million per year.

Wowzers.

That said, the Rangers are expected to match the Yankees’ offers, at least initially. But it’s hard to imagine that a team that had to be saved by Major League Baseball (financially, that is) would be able to come up with that kind of money for one player. At some point, the Rangers will have to bow out and hope that Lee bypasses more money for the opportunity to return to Texas.

The Nationals are also reportedly interested in Lee and there are sure to be other suitors as well. But as I’ve written for the past couple of months, no team will be able to match what the Yankees offer. Thus, one would think that it’ll be between the Yankees and Rangers in the end. Why would he go anywhere else? He can either cash in a big payday and have an opportunity to win a ring every year, or take less and hope that the Rangers’ run in 2010 was no fluke.

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