The column is a little weird because it seems like Heyman is working off of an assumption that is incorrect: that Chuck Greenberg claimed that Cliff Lee was so impressed with his (Greenberg's) personal involvement with the negotiations and trips to Arkansas that Lee was going to sign with Texas, rather than New York, until the Phillies stepped in.
I think if we wouldn't have gone to Arkansas that last time, I think he was going to sign with the Yankees. We pried the door open a little bit to give ourselves another opportunity. And ultimately the Phillies were able to take advantage of that opportunity that we created.
Seems clear to me that Greenberg says that last visit, with the upped Ranger offer, resulted in Lee holding off on signing with New York, and the Phillies then swooping in.
Here's how Heyman read its:
I don't really get that from Greenberg's comments.
Nevertheless, the piece as a whole is worth reading. It suggests the Rangers were lowballing Lee, and that Nolan Ryan, in particular, was resistant to making the type of deal it was going to take to keep Lee in Texas.
It is worth a read.