Part of the fun of the winter meetings is all the rumors that start flying around about who's talking to who, who's offering what, and how much money and how many years everybody is willing to go. Most if it is smoke designed to play mind games and get other teams to up their offers and pay more money than they should. This year is no different and right now there are plenty of rumors related to the Yankees and their dealings floating around. Let's take a minute to clear some of them up.
Cliff Lee wants a 7-year deal and getting anything less is a deal breaker
Almost certainly floated to the media by Lee's agent, this is an obvious attempt by him to try to get his client more years and more money that he probably won't get and definitely doesn't need. He already knows about where the Yankees and Rangers are going to come in with their offers from talking to them and he's just doing his job trying to see what, if anything, else he can get for his guy. Bottom line, these guys wouldn't turn down 6 years and $140 million from the Yankees if that was the best offer they got.
The Nationals are getting ready to make a HUGE offer to Lee
A big old slice of bullshit pie a la mode, probably coming directly from the National front office after they made the first, and so far biggest, free agent splash with their Jayson Werth signing. They have set the market for all the other big players available and are simply trying to stir up some uncertainty and force the front runners in the Lee sweepstakes (see: Yankees and Rangers) to up their offers. The Nationals obviously don't have the money to make a huge pitch to Lee (pun intended) and they know it. They're just using their position as the first to strike to try to make everybody else squirm a little bit. Not a bad strategy for a smaller market, shitty team but there's no way the Yankees let themselves get outbid by the Nationals.
The Yankees are interested in Carl Crawford
Partially true, because who wouldn't be interested in a 5-tool player in his prime? But this is just the Yankees playing the game with a guy they aren't really targeting but know the Red Sox are. They've beaten the Sox when it came to A-Rod and Teix before, so it's worth the Yankees' time to make the Sox sweat a little here and spend more money than they have to to get Crawford. The Yankees already have an outfield that does a great job approximating Crawford's value at less than it would cost them to sign him this offseason. There's no real chance that Crawford ends up in pinstripes.
Andy Pettitte is not coming back. Oh wait, yes he is. Oh wait, ...
People can listen to these stories supposedly coming from "sources" all day long if they want to. I'm not going to give on second's thought to Pettitte until I know the Yankees are actually in discussions with him and Pettitte himself comments on what his plans are for 2011. It's still a little early for him to be leaning one way or the other yet, so it's really a waste of time to put any weight into what these sources are hearing or saying about him. When Andy makes up his mind, we'll know about it.