By Sweeny Murti
Darek Braunecker arrived at the Winter Meetings. If you don’t know his name yet, where have you been hiding? He is the agent for Cliff Lee and is therefore more popular than Mickey Mouse this week at Disney.
Braunecker briefed reporters and said he has meetings set up for the next couple days. Braunecker said it is a “strong” market for Lee and that it is inaccurate to say that the Yankees and Rangers are the only teams in the Lee Sweepstakes. But he did admit that those are the two teams “that have been the most vocal” in showing their interest.
While he wouldn’t reveal exactly how many teams he has spoken with, Braunecker said there are also always teams lying in the weeds before making an offer.
Lee has met in person with several teams already. Brian Cashman visited with him at his Little Rock home and according to Braunecker “has offered to come back as often as necessary.”
Braunecker said that while he is here trying to make a deal, Lee is back home in Arkansas deer hunting. When I informed Braunecker that there isn’t much deer hunting in the Bronx and wondered if he was a New York type of guy, the agent responded by stating that Lee “has clearly demonstrated he can pitch in any market.”
Asked about the lack of depth in the pitching market behind his client, Braunecker said with a knowing laugh, “It’s good to be Cliff Lee.”