Wednesday afternoon, Cliff Lee's agent Darek Braunecker left the Winter Meetings, but not before the Yankees offered Lee a "monster" contract. Then, Wednesday night, the Yankees lost their Plan B when Carl Crawford signed with the Red Sox. So, in response, the Yankees upped their offer to Lee to seven years.
The Yankees' seven-year offer, for what it's worth, does not have the same annual value as the six-year offer they made first. It's believed that the "monster" contract was for six years and $140 million. This new contract is probably for seven years and around $150-160 million. But that extra year is important to Lee, and the offer has spurred the Rangers into action.
Representatives for the Rangers are flying to Lee's Arkansas home and, according to Ken Rosenthal, the team is going to extend their offer to Lee beyond the five years they had offered before. The Rangers have been reluctant to take Lee longer than five, but at this point they don't have a choice if they want him to re-sign, as the Yankees' offer is just too big to turn down otherwise.
It's expected that the Rangers will offer Lee six years, rather than trying to match the Yankees' seven. At that point, Lee would have to decide between playing in New York for more money and more years, or playing closer to home for less. A resolution is predicted to come before the end of the weekend.