If the Yankees Can’t Get Cliff Lee, Then…

Who? I mean it’s possible that Lee will sign somewhere else, it really is. So if not him, then who else? That’s what everybody seems to be asking today so I’ll join the discussion – only I warn you: I won’t make any sense. Why should reality get in the way of a good blog post? The truth is, Lee isn’t the best non-Yankees pitcher in baseball; he’s just the best free agent non-Yankees pitcher in baseball. Which means that we have to look at those who aren’t free agents and would, therefore, require a miraculous, impossible-to-pull-off trade. Here are those I covet, regardless of availability or practicality.
1) The Freak
So what if he just won a World Series for the Giants? Maybe he’s tired of the West Coast, not to mention the color orange.
2) Doc
Yeah, he’s got some mileage on him, but I’ve made no secret of my affection for him and maybe he misses the American League East.
3) King Felix
It’s true that his team hasn’t been a contender and he’s looked out of sorts on occasion, but he’s only 24 – plenty of time for him to mature into the game’s best pitcher.
4) The Zackster
He’s already said he won’t come to New York, but that doesn’t mean he means it. And maybe CC and Amber will find him an historic old house in rural New Jersey with a barn and horses and it’ll feel just like Kansas, as in Missouri.
5) Justy
That’s what Girardi would call Justin Verlander if he migrated to the Bronx. Sure, he’s the ace of the Tigers’ staff, but wouldn’t it be less pressure to be a #2 pitcher?
Those are my top five choices in case Cliff Lee doesn’t work out. Did I miss somebody? (This is why I don’t play fantasy baseball. I always miss somebody.)


  1. Jane Heller

    Hi, Becky. So great that you’ll be on vacation. Enjoy every minute of it. I think The Freak would look just fine with short hair and pinstripes. Wishful thinking is fun, isn’t it?

  2. YankeeCase

    The Freak would look good in pinstripes, Jane! Sure he’d have to cut his hippie-like hair a bit (and he’ll look even more like he’s 12 years old again…), but I don’t know if he’d miss it once he gets the praise NY fans give to winners. What I’m not so sure about with him is that he’d have to face the AL East… a lot! And you know how some NL pitchers have gotten beaten up in the AL.

    What I would really like to see is King Felix in pinstripes! He dominates, and not just the Yankees. Great fastball, nasty changeup. And just what is he the king of so far? How does ‘King of New York’ sound to you? What bothers me is since he’s gotten into the league he’s well… gotten fat! That’s a lot of triple mocha lattes! Nothing against Seattle, but it’s no New York. Imagine him here in NY, where there’s a pizzeria on every corner, and there’s all sorts of crazy night life to indulge in. It doesn’t look like he’s that disciplined and instead just relies on his natural abilities. That’s only going to take him so far, and even less if he starts getting injured because he isn’t taking care of himself the way he should. (but then maybe A-Rod would take him under his wing like he has other young hispanic players…)

    Now those two might be pie-in-the-sky dreams, but Greinke might actually work out. The Royals have stated they’re willing to listen to offers, and though he may say he’s not interested in NY, wait until he actually experiences for himself what it’s like to be here. CC had the same initial reluctance and now he loves it. I just hope the Yankees wouldn’t give up the farm trying to get this guy. But they have to be the tiniest bit interested in him, don’t they?


  3. Jane Heller

    YankeeCase, I do worry about the switch from the NL to the AL in most cases when it comes to pitchers, but not with Lincecum. He shut down a pretty good offense in the WS and I think he would fool plenty of other hitters. I hear you on Felix. He would need to be whipped into shape and kept in shape. Whoever is our new pitching coach would have to stay on him about that. And maybe A-Rod would be a mentor. Greinke has said more than once he doesn’t want to come to NY – specifically. As much as I admire him, I don’t see that fantasy ever happening. Have the Yankees asked about his availability? You bet.

  4. beckers46

    Hi, Jane! How are you? I went to dinner with my best friend earlier, and we had this same discussion. We both agreed that The Freak would look good in pinstripes. After he signs with the Yanks, I can picture him with a haircut and wearing a nice suit for an interview on Letterman. Wishful thinking. Hope everyone is doing well. I start vacation from work tomorrow. Yipee!!! I have a stack of books I want to read, and a bunch of baseball movies I want to watch. Now that the baseball season is over, I’m going to start having withdrawals. – Becky :0)

  5. James Buxton

    If I could chosee:
    The Freak or Doc + Zack (if Andy retires) + CC + AJ + Huges = 28
    (Of course I didn’t make much sense either. )
    Nice Dreams, but anyone of them would look nice in pinstripes.
    Call me a bad omen, but given the recent facts of the Lee saga, I’m starting to think he will not end wearing pinstripes…
    But considering what Larry Dierker said about Nolan Ryan, well, his bad luck could include Lee pitching for us.
    how many years the Giants have control of The Freak??

  6. bgalaxy@verizon.net

    i like greinke and he is the only one i think would really be traded but i don’t think he could handle ny with his emotional issues even if i offered to counsel him. this all just makes me think we must get lee. the next best pitcher on the free agent market is pavano and don’t even get me started on that mistake.

  7. Jane Heller

    I don’t know how many years the Giants have control of Lincecum, James. Maybe someone else here does? I agree that Cliff Lee isn’t a done deal by any means. Not only are the Rangers determined to sign him, but there are plenty of other teams in the mix. I don’t think the Yankees are willing to give him CC-type money so it’s possible we could lose out.

    Get with the program, YankeeCase! Melky Mesa’s been around for awhile and made the 40-man roster a few days ago to be protected. He does sound like a nice prospect except for the strikeouts. Yikes. He needs to cut down on those if he expects to make the bigs.

    Greinke could be another Whitson, Paul. Or another Vazquez. But from what I’ve seen, he sure can pitch in KC.

    That’s right, Barbara. We have an in-house therapist for Greinke right here! You could be written into his contract! I did read that Pavano was a FA and the very notion of having him back in the Bronx gave me the shakes. We must get Lee!

    HAHAHA, Melissa. Of course we should sign her. She throws a knuckleball, after all. We’d have our very own Wakefield. My bad for not putting her on the list.

    I think you’ll have plenty of drama, Jeff. Other teams have expressed interest in signing Lee, so hang on tight.

  8. raysrenegade

    The “Zack-ster” is rumored to want out of Kansas City. But it might not be a great fit considering the guy has a few social flaws and is considered almost anti-social at the wrong moments.
    But then again, maybe if he went into a internal shell like a turtle and pitched lights outs the media would find it endearing instead of anti-productive.
    Maybe “Zack-ster” just needs a New York Yankee makeover.
    Also, he hate the Trop., so it could be a blessing since Grienke would have to visit the enclosed confines at least 9 times a year, possibly pitching there 4 plus times a year.

    Rays Renegade


  9. Jane Heller

    He’s already blocked trades to NY several times, Renegade, from what I read. I don’t see it happening. Interesting that he’s had trouble at the Trop. That would be problematic for sure!

  10. Kim Beltran

    Sorry, Jane, but not only is Timmy (that’s what all his friends in California call him) Mr. Franchise here in San Francisco, he’s far too cool and laid back to play for the Yankees. Besides, one bad game, and you New Yorkers would chew him up and spit him out!

  11. Jane Heller

    I live in California, imagamer, so I’ve heard Timmy’s nickname here. Also, as I wrote in the post, this was meant to be fantasy. I don’t expect any of the pitchers mentioned to be Yankees any time soon.

  12. Jane Heller

    More money than they gave CC, Babu? That’s asking a lot, especially when they have to sign Jeter and Mo. But you’re right about it being rare when an ace of Lee’s caliber comes on the free agent market. Fingers crossed for us.

  13. King_of_New_York

    It is going to be extremely hard to get Cliff Lee, but I think the Yankees should put everything into getting him, maybe even more than they gave to CC. Most aces in baseball get locked up by their teams, and it is rare when one reaches free agency. When one of Lee’s ability does, I think the Yankees should make the most of the opportunity.

  14. Jane Heller

    Maybe they won’t ALL go to the Yankees, zkonedog. After we sign Jeter and Mo (and hopefully Cliff Lee), there won’t be any money left!

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