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Lee's Price Climbs Ever Higher

Posted on 10/20/2010 8:45:18 AM PDT by SmokingJoe

It was a testament to how well Cliff Lee pitched Monday in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series—eight shutout innings, two hits, 13 strikeouts—that the most treacherous moment of his night occurred after he had beaten the Yankees.

As he sat down for his postgame news conference, he slipped on his chair and became tangled in a microphone wire. A look of panic crossed the faces of the two Texas Rangers teammates who flanked him, Josh Hamilton and Michael Young, as if they feared a freak injury to their ace might sabotage their chances of reaching the World Series.

"Booby trap," Mr. Lee said.

The quip was funny, but beyond this series, the Yankees don't want to see any harm come to the man who might be their ace next year. After all, the Yankees tried to acquire Mr. Lee from Seattle in early July only to have the Mariners instead accept an offer from the Rangers, and it's assumed Mr. Lee, who becomes a free agent this year, will be the primary off-season quarry for Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

Of course, with every brilliant game he pitches this postseason—he is now 3-0 with a 0.75 earned-run average, 34 strikeouts and one walk over 24 playoff innings this month—Mr. Lee drives up his value on the open market.

In fact, he already has pushed it so high, according to a pair of sports economists, that it's theoretically possible for him to price the Yankees out of the bidding for him.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: clifflee; mlb; texasrangers; yankees
Over the nine regular seasons he has pitched in the majors, Mr. Lee has a 102-61 record and a 3.85 ERA and won the 2008 American League Cy Young Award.

He would be worth $21 million or $22 million a year from an average major-league team, according to J.C. Bradbury, author of the book "The Baseball Economist" and a professor at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.

But over his eight career postseason starts, Mr. Lee is 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA, placing him among the most dominant October pitchers in major-league history.

1 posted on 10/20/2010 8:45:21 AM PDT by SmokingJoe
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To: SmokingJoe

Nolan Ryan needs to do whatever it takes to keep this team together. Hopefully they can come up with the capital to do that.

2 posted on 10/20/2010 8:50:01 AM PDT by al_c (
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To: SmokingJoe

In October, his ERA puts him behind only Koufax and Mathewson, which ain’t too shabby.

3 posted on 10/20/2010 8:51:16 AM PDT by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: SmokingJoe
If the Rangers go to the World Series and win the whole thing, I would think Ryan could pool up a wad of cash to keep Lee.

I think Lee's decision to stay will be influenced by being close to home (1 hour flight to Arkansas from Arlington).

The Rangers, while improving financially as a club, don't have the vast resources of the Steinbrenner Yankees.

4 posted on 10/20/2010 8:56:30 AM PDT by erikm88
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To: erikm88
The Yanks have deep pockets, that's for sure. After all, their general manager is named Brian Cashman.
5 posted on 10/20/2010 9:01:09 AM PDT by ComputerGuy (HM2/USN M/3/3 Marines RVN 66-67)
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To: SmokingJoe

The Rangers while not having the resources of the Yankess have two distinct financial advantages.

1. They’re not over the $178 mill payroll number like the
Yanks so they wouldn’t have to pay a 40% tax on
Lee’s salary.

2. No state income tax in Texas so Lee could afford to
take less from the Rangers and still have as much
take home.

He’s also much closer to home in Dallas. Having said that the Yankees fans are all convinced at this point he’s a Yankee next year based on the comments on the MLB boards.

6 posted on 10/20/2010 9:03:11 AM PDT by bereanway
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To: bereanway

I am still livid the Phillies sent him packing.

7 posted on 10/20/2010 9:21:22 AM PDT by oldironsides
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To: SmokingJoe

I’m from the Cleveland area so I really don’t have much to say (*%%^*$*%#) on the subject. (%#*$%#) Jacobs!

8 posted on 10/20/2010 9:46:10 AM PDT by MAAG
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To: al_c

The Rangers have recently signed an 80 million dollar a year TV package, and it is also rumored that Mr. Lee has enjoyed being on the Rangers. So, I think the Rangers have at least a decent shot at signing him. Nolan Ryan has already said that signing him will be their number one priorty in the offseason.
If they can sign Lee, keep Young, Kinsler, and Hamilton happy, I think the Rangers could be a great team for years to come! Oh yeah, the yankees suck! :)

9 posted on 10/20/2010 3:11:20 PM PDT by Sporke (Mmmmm Burrito's....)
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To: oldironsides

Yeah, maybe if they hadn’t spent all that money on Blanton (who looked like he was worth about 50 cents in the first two innings tonight), they might have kept him.

But hey, I have the misfortune to be a fan of the Cleveland Indians - the only club to trade away the reigning Cy Young winner in mid season two years in a row.

10 posted on 10/20/2010 5:56:37 PM PDT by The Pack Knight (Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and the world laughs at you.)
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To: Sporke

Agreed 100% ... especially about the yanks.

11 posted on 10/20/2010 6:38:28 PM PDT by al_c (
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