On Thursday, representatives for the Texas Rangers will fly to Arkansas to meet Cliff Lee at his home and talk about his free agency. Hot in pursuit, the Yankees are rumored to have offered Lee a seven-year contract, and at this point the Rangers are just trying to keep up. And according to T.R. Sullivan, the Rangers expect to find out whether they can sign Lee back by Thursday night.
Lee and agent Darek Braunecker will meet with Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg and assistant general manager Thad Levine. It has been reported that the Rangers have increased their offer to Lee from five years to six, but are extremely reluctant to go as long as seven. For that reason, the Yankees are considered the heavy favorites to end up with the lefty ace, who could prefer the Yankees' larger contract over the Rangers' proximity to his family and home.
One way or another, it seems that the Lee negotiations are approaching a resolution. Either the Yankees will pair Lee with CC Sabathia at the top of their rotation, or Lee will return to Texas and the Yankees will be left searching desperately for impact alternatives.