CEO Chuck Greenberg and general manager Jon Daniels said moments ago in a conference call that they were told on Monday that Cliff Lee was willing to come back to the Rangers, but they decided to not meet his request for a seventh guaranteed year. Lee then agreed to a five-year deal with Philadelphia, who traded him to Seattle a year ago today.
"In this instance, it was simply a matter of us saying, `yes,' " Greenberg said. "But it would have been a matter of us saying 'yes' on terms that we weren't comfortable with. This was not a matter of Cliff making a decision not to come to Texas. He was willing to remain a Ranger, but it was on terms that we felt went beyond the aggressive parameters within which we were already operating."
"Had we been willing to go beyond the parameters that we were willing to go, he would be here. But we didn't think that was in the long-term best interest of the franchise."
Daniels said that there were many back-and-forth moments between Rangers officials and Lee agent Darek Braunecker during the day, but ultimately the request for a seventh year was too much. The Rangers' final offer was six years for $138 million with a vesting option for a seventh year that would have paid another $23 million.
"We went as far as we were comfortable going on a terms standpoint," Daniels said.
-- Jeff Wilson