Buster Olney said on Monday that the Cliff Lee negotiations would soon heat up in earnest. And now, via the New York Post, we learn that the Rangers are about to make their first contract offer to the free agent ace lefty.
The Rangers, the article says, aren't afraid to go as long as five years, which would be a significant commitment to the 32-year-old starting pitcher. However, the team believes that the Yankees have already made a five- or six-year offer, forcing the Rangers to start with a big bid. They won't win Lee without going a little above what they might find comfortable.
While the Yankees are expected to outbid the Rangers in the end, the hope for Texas is that they can sway the veteran with their lack of a state tax, and with their proximity to his family home in Arkansas. However, in the event that Lee still chooses New York, the Rangers have backup plans in place, which may include Royals ace Zack Greinke.