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Lee talks move at snail's pace
The Cliff Lee negotiations, at least from the Yankees’ perspective, are moving at a snail’s pace.
The Yankees have refrained from making an offer to Lee at the request of his agent, Darek Braunecker, according to sources in contact with the club.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, anxious to close a deal, has privately expressed his frustration to others at the winter meetings about the team’s inability to move the negotiations along, sources say.
The Yankees’ position: When Lee is ready to make a deal, we’re here.
The difference might simply be semantics; it is possible the two sides have discussed the framework of a contract for the prized free-agent left-hander.
Lee’s side also might be trying to elevate the bidding from other clubs — in particular, the Rangers — before engaging seriously with the Yankees.
Lee is the Yankees’ top off-season target. The team, which also is trying to re-sign free-agent lefty Andy Pettitte, will be left scrambling to find more starting pitching if Lee chooses another club.
Lee will receive a seven-year offer, according to major-league sources.
The Rangers, Lee’s previous team, are viewed as the top challenger to the Yankees in the bidding. But the negotiations appear to be moving beyond the Rangers’ comfort level.
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