The New York Yankees made a proposal to free-agent pitcher Cliff Lee that’s worth almost $140 million over six years, according to the Major League Baseball website.
“We have made an offer,” Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said last night at baseball’s winter meetings in Orlando, Florida, without providing specifics.
Lee, who helped the Texas Rangers reach the World Series in October, is the most sought-after pitcher available this offseason. The 32-year-old has a 102-61 career record and won the 2008 Cy Young Award as the American League’s best pitcher. Lee, who is 7-2 in the postseason, also is being courted by teams including the Rangers.
“He’s someone that’s worth waiting for,” Cashman said. “We certainly hope that he picks us. We think we have a lot to offer, but we understand there is competition.”
Darek Braunecker, Lee’s agent, left the winter meetings last night to deliver the Yankees’ offer to his client at Lee’s home in Arkansas.
“He’s a guy that wins,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s a guy that knows how to pitch on the big stage. He’s everything that you’d want, and a guy that you would ask to help you win another championship.”
Lee began his major league career with the Cleveland Indians in 2002. In 2008, he went 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA for the Indians to earn the Cy Young Award. He also played for the Philadelphia Phillies and Seattle Mariners before joining the Rangers on July 9.
Last season, Lee was a combined 12-9 with a 3.18 ERA and won three playoff starts against the Tampa Bay Rays and the Yankees as the Rangers reached the World Series for the first time. Lee then went 0-2 as the Rangers lost to the San Francisco Giants.
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