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December 14, 2010

Rangers weren't willing to meet Cliff Lee's demands

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



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I'm OK with this. On the other hand, apparently Darek Braunecker wasn't quite so offended with the idea of presenting the Rangers' with "what it would take" to get Lee.

Very disappointed in the Rangers if the reports are accurate. They first asked Lee what it would take to sign him and his agent balked. Rangers then made several offers. In the end, Lee told the Rangers what it would take to sign him which is what the Rangers wanted. They then refused to meet demands. Really makes no sense. Rangers plan B appears to be to gut the farm system. That would be the same old Rangers...

I don't agree, Bill. The rangers simply aske what it would take to sign him. Hey didn't say they were willing to meet the demand.

Bill, you're an idiot. Read what you wrote, think about for however long it takes you to realize how stupid you are. Then post something new.

Less money and fewer years? Really? How could we let this happen? Did he really like Philly better than the Rangers? I have a hard understanding this since they came back to us and asked for a seventh year then signed for five years when we said no. We will be fine. Colby won more games in the playoffs than he did, but it sure would have been nice.


so it was as I feared. we were willing to do 6/138. and when given the opportunity to seal the deal and finally get an ace pitcher in Texas, we folded over an additional 3.285 million per year over a 7 year period, which was the cost of the 7th year guaranteed.

that is the average MLB player's salary. so we would have had to do without one average player for 7 years on top of the offer they were already prepared to make.

that is not the point to toe a line in the sand. you had him and you let him get away.

we are far from fine. even if Colby and CJ have miracle career years again, we are now one less starter (and a critical ace labeled one) than we were before. Feliz has a long way to go before we can anoint him a starter AND a staff ace, if they even pursue that option.

we'll probably win the West again since there are only 3 other teams and Texas is good. however, the door just slammed shut on any opportunities to advance in postseason. you'd think after 40 years we'd have learned it can't be done without a staff ace. apparently not.

regardless of what that would have cost in years 5, 6, 7 for perhaps a lesser pitcher then, perhaps not, we could have won WS in years 1-4 of thsi contract. and then lured other FA here who would see Texas is not a place where pitchers go to die. and so on.

now...we get nothing but a nice regular season and a one-and-done postseason just like old times. unless another staff ace that isn't on meds for anxiety shows up in my stocking this year.

Proud of JD and the Rangers' front office. Smart move in the long run.

Cliff's Mom- perhaps your time would be better spent reading Miss Manners rather than the sports section.

According to reports, the Rangers would have signed Lee if they had raised their offer a small amount (a small amount in baseball terms).

Now they are contemplating trading a number of top prospects for a top-notch pitcher. The Rangers have an inglorious history of trading prospects who become productive for other teams.

I would rather see them spend $$$ on Lee than $$$ and prospects on another pitcher.

Get beyond the mind boggling guaranteed salary that Lee passed on, and it's hard to argue that the Rangers didn't made a sensible business decision. Lee is great. But seven years is a long, long time in a pitching career. Just ask the Giants management if they still think Barry Zito is worth the $120 million they guaranteed him. And that's no knock on Zito- he's an ex-Cy Young winner, a gamer, and when he's on he's still formidable. But his salary has definitely put a crimp in the Giants deal making capacity during the past few years, without a corresponding pay off in Zito's won-loss record. Factor in other misfortunes that can afflict a pitcher's arm (torn tendons and the like), and 7 years can feel like 7 dog years to any team that has signed on the dotted line.

i hope everyone is still singing the Rangers praises for saving 3 extra million a year (the cost of the 7th year on top of what they agreed to pay over 6 beforehand) when we go nowhere for the foreseeable future in the postseason.

we will be matching up our best starter (who will really be a #2) vs another team's ace, our next best (a #3) vs the other team's legit #2 and so on.

can't win in postseason without a true #1. and I hope i'm wrong but the odds of CJ duplicating this year again surely are not that high. maybe so, but he's gonna have to now. otherwise we are wasting the prime of several players careers with a team taht is not constructed to win in postseason baseball any longer.

I guess now we'll see Scott Feldman as our ace...

I'm kidding!!!

cliff lee help in teaching our pitchers how to pitch just as valuable as his play off wins...thanks cliff...i think rangers did right in not going 7 yrs for cliff...i do think cliff and his family will find out that texas was the right place for him (in future)...i hope we do not give up really good prospects just to start off the season with better pitching...wait and see...do again what we did last year...if ace pitcher needed, do it like last year again...it worked...roy

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