Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Year of the Free Agent

Maybe it's the year, but is seems that free agents are demanding way more attention than usual.  Back in July of this year, Lebron James became one of the most infamous names in Basketball.  Some say he should have stayed with his home team and continued his quest to bring a championship to Cleveland.  Others think that he disgraced the name of Basketball by taking the easy way out and choosing a team that can't possibly lose.  Still, one thing everyone seems to agree on is the fact that he made a mockery out of the free agent process.  His ESPN telecast; The Decision, drew in about 10 million viewers.  Never has such a spectacle been made out of one athlete.

Five months later and here we are again.  A different sport but the same circus.  Or is it?  Cliff Lee has drawn a serious amount of attention during this year's off season.  However, the case differs in the sense that Lee is not shamelessly drawing the attention.  His natural ability as one of the greatest pitchers to take the mound, has all of Major League Baseball vying for a shot to add this proven ace to their staff.

The Yankees have been considered the favorite along with the Rangers but it's really any ones race.  Anyone who can put up the "dollar signs" that is.  

The latest news is that the Yankees have several offers on the table for Lee to choose from.  A multi-million dollar buffet.  He can choose a five year option for $25 million a year, a six year for $24 million, or a seven year for $23 million.  The Rangers owner, Nolan Ryan, has asked agent Darek Braunecker what it will take to resign Lee.  The response was said to be that it did not work that way and that the Rangers would just have to "make their best offer." So Texas sent a contingent down to Little Rock to meet with Lee and his agent to up their initial five year offer.  They too have offered Lee several choices.  

Only time will tell how this one plays out.

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