Report: Derek Jeter Talks on Back Burner as Yankees Focus on Cliff Lee, Rangers Mull Zack Greinke as Replacement

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November 30, 2010

With the gulf between the Yankees and Derek Jeter upwards of $60 million and the market for the shortstop limited elsewhere, the Yankees will likely turn their attention to signing Cliff Lee.

According to the New York Post, Lee could be a Yankee before Jeter’s future is set.

The Yankees reportedly gave the ace an offer of six years, $140 million last week, and according to an AL executive, “There is no way the Rangers go for six years and $140 million. At that money they are out of it. That leaves the Yankees.”

The Rangers want to know the status of the Lee situation sooner rather than later so that they can pursue Royals ace Zack Greinke as a replacement.

The Royals predict their strong crop of prospects to be ready in just a couple of short years, and are rumored to be willing to move Greinke for players who will peak in that timeframe, as well. They want prospects and the Rangers have some who fit the mold.

“They have enough to do that,” a scout said of the Rangers’ system. “And the Royals and Rangers share a [spring training] complex [in Arizona], so the Royals see those kids every day. [The Rangers] don’t have that one impact guy, but they have a lot of guys who will be solid major-league players.”

Reports have already surfaced this offseason that New York is listed as team Greinke won’t accept a trade to per his no-trade clause.

The fact that the Rangers already are planning on Greinke as a contingency plan, however, indicates that they aren’t very confident in their chances to keep their ace.

Texas, though, may ultimately win out if it ends up with Greinke, who is six years Lee’s junior and has put up relatively similar stats since 2008.

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