Report: Red Sox Offered Cliff Lee Seven-Year Contract to Put Pressure on Yankees

There was plenty of speculation that the Red Sox would offer Cliff Lee a contract, just to drive up the price. It seems the Red Sox may have done so, but in order to drive up the years, not the contract.

According to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Red Sox were one of the “mystery teams” that offered Lee a seven-year deal. Lee has reportedly wanted a seven-year contract all along, a figure the Yankees said they would not want to go to.

Rosenthal hears that the seven-year deal was relatively low on the amount of money in the deal. However, Rosenthal also speculates that by offering Lee a seven-year deal they knew he wouldn’t sign, they were able to give Lee’s representation a seven-year deal that they could use as leverage against the Yankees.

The ball is obviously in Lee’s court now, though, after Boston reportedly signed the prized free-agent outfielder Carl Crawford to a seven-year, $142 million contract late Wednesday night.

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