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The rest of baseball waits on Cliff Lee

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  December 13, 2010 03:41 PM

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They're pacing the floor in New York and Dallas. Owners, GMs, managers, reporters, fans, everybody. They're all waiting to hear where Cliff Lee wants to play for the next six or seven years.

The Yankees and Rangers and a possible mystery team are bidding for the lefty and agent Darek Braunecker has created a perfect storm of desperation.

Joel Sherman of the Post has a good take on it.

As Lee ponders his future, the rest of baseball waits. Along with the Yankees and Rangers, Lee's decision impacts these teams and players:

Carl Pavano: The No 2 starter on the free-agent market needs to wait on Lee to see how his market develops.

The Royals: If they're serious about trading Zack Greinke, the loser of the Lee Sweepstakes figures to be interested.

Adrian Beltre: If the Rangers lose Lee, Plan B could be signing Beltre and moving Michael Young to first base.

Rafael Soriano: A different Plan B for Texas could be signing Soriano to close and making Neftali Feliz a starter.

Andy Pettitte: If Lee stays in Texas, how much will the Yankees throw at Pettitte to convince him not to retire?

Unknowing starter: If the Yankees lose Lee, they can't sign the New York-phobic Pavano. So the next step would be trading for somebody. Carlos Zambrano of the Cubs could be the man as he has a relationship with new pitching coach Larry Rothschild.

For Red Sox fans, the question is how Theo Epstein and his operatives can take advantage of this.

Two thoughts:

1. Go get a bullpen lefty. The Yankees need one, too. Better to strike now and get the guy you want while the Bombers dither with Lee.

2. Sign Russell Martin. I'm not sold on Martin, if only because the Dodgers preferred Rod Barajas. But I'm less sold on the idea of Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek going 162. The Yankee also want Martin as they don't trust Jesus Montero.

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