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Reports: Cashman Meeting With Cliff Lee

The wooing of prized free-agent starting pitcher Cliff Lee by the New York Yankees has reportedly reached the face-to-face meeting stage.

Both the New York Post and ESPN New York are reporting this morning that Yankees' general manager Brian Cashman is in Arkansas today to meet with Lee and his agent, Darek Braunecker.

From the Post:

With this meeting, the Yankees are hopeful Cashman can begin to separate the Yankees from other contenders, namely the Rangers, for whom Lee played last season.

But the Yankees believe Lee and Braunecker plan to survey the landscape thoroughly before making a decision. Thus, the Yankees are under the impression that making an offer today will not significantly give them an advantage.

Lee is the Yankees' main, outside free-agent priority this offseason as they have recognized adding a high-end starter as their greatest need.

They know it is going to take a minimum of a four-year contract and probably more, at near or more than the $23 million CC Sabathia averages a year to get it done. Sabathia's annual total is the record for a pitcher on a multiyear contract.

ESPN speculates that Lee wants a contract similar to Sabathia's seven-year, $162 million deal.

Lee would be the ultimate offseason prize for the Yankees. I can't help but set the mood for the day with a little music. Is Cashman ... Knocking On Heaven's Door today?