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Heyman on the Cliff Lee negotiations

Jon Heyman has a column up at SI that, among other things, talks about the Cliff Lee negotiations and the Rangers' role in those.

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.

Here's what Greenberg actually said:

 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:

Greenberg suggested at a Rangers fanfest that his third trip to visit Cliff Lee in Arkansas helped move the Rangers into second place, ahead of the Yankees but still behind the Phillies in this winter's most interesting free-agent derby.

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.