So, now we know why Darek Braunecker bolted the Baseball Winter Meetings earlier Wednesday. He headed for Arkansas to talk with his prized client, Cliff Lee, about a mega-offer from the New York Yankees. The Yankees have reportedly made a six-year offer in the neighborhood of $140 million.
"He's got all the information he needs from us," general manager Brian Cashman said. "And I assume he's got the same from everyone else. I know we're in the water here."
While the Yankees wait on an answer from the 32-year-old Lee, Cashman is plotting another moves.
"I'm a little like Hannibal Lecter in the straitjacket right now, waiting on this Cliff Lee thing," Cashman said. "It's kind of restricting my movements a little bit.''
The Yankees have been linked to outfielder Carl Crawford, the best every day player on the free-agent market, and Cashman has said he still needs to address the pitching staff.
The Yankees, though, are willing to wait for Lee to make a decision before doing anything else.
"I know that we're right on the player," Cashman said. "and I hope that if he picks us, he's right on us. This is a great town to play in, a great baseball environment. We have the best fans in the world that support this franchise. I think he'd have great teammates around him that he'd really enjoy playing with."
Yankee manager Joe Girardi met with reporters on Wednesday and could not hide his enthusiasm about the possibility of having Lee in the team's pitching rotation.
"He's a guy that wins. He's a guy that gives you innings," Girardi said. "He's a guy that knows how to pitch on the big stage. He's everything that you'd want, and a guy that you would ask to help you win another championship.
"This is a guy that has great command, never beats himself, he holds runners. He has a mixture of four pitches that he can use at my time. He's the complete package."
Which is precisely why the Yankees will wait as long as they have to.