NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – Cliff Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker left the Winter Meetings Wednesday and it doesn’t appear there will be deal just yet, Jon Heyman reports.
The Lee sweepstakes were thought to heat up Wednesday with multiple reports of unidentified teams willing to award the lefty a seven-year contract.
While the Yankees reportedly aren’t willing to stretch to a seventh year, count them in. Heyman reports the Yankees offer will be in the $23-25 million-per-year range for six years.
“If the Yankees get Lee, the apple of their eye, their next pitching target is Kerry Wood,” adds Heyman. The Yankees are also interested in Wood’s former Chicago Cubs teammate Mark Prior.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman has been vocal about his desire to land Lee.
“We’d to love to add Cliff Lee to the Yankee rotation, there’s no doubt about that. He knows that,” said Cashman.
Cashman met with Lee last month at the 32-year-old left-hander’s home in Arkansas.
Speaking after Tuesday’s news conference to announce Derek Jeter’s $51 million, three-year contract, Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner sounded upbeat about signing the 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner.
“I’m still optimistic, but you never know,” Steinbrenner said.
“I don’t believe rumors, anyway,” Steinbrenner added. “If somebody offered him seven years, 10 years, 15 years, I don’t go by any of that, anyway. We’ll offer him what we think is, obviously, very fair and we’ll go from there.”
Heyman is also reporting that Joe Girardi will call Andy Pettitte after the Winter Meetings conclude this week to find out whether Pettitte will be returning next season or retiring. The Yankees are hopeful that Pettitte returns to the team.