So far, through the first few weeks of free agency, the Cliff Lee sweepstakes have moved ahead at a slow and steady pace, with teams checking in to express their interest. According to Buster Olney, however, the expectation is that things will soon heat up and heat up quickly, to the point where Lee may even sign during next week's Winter Meetings.
The talk to date has been about the Rangers, Yankees, and Nationals, but Mark Zuckerman gives the Nationals the longest of odds, meaning that, in the end, this could and should come down to the fight that everyone's been expecting - the Rangers going head-to-head against the Yankees. With Lee being the premier pitcher on the market, each team will be willing to pay a very hefty price.
If the Rangers miss out on Lee, they could turn their attention to Royals ace Zack Greinke. If the Yankees miss out on Lee, meanwhile, they could focus instead on Carl Crawford.