Desperate times call for desperate measures, even if one is speaking in relative terms.
After Rays outfielder Carl Crawford, the Yankees “Plan B” to signing 32-year-old Rangers lefty Cliff Lee, signed a seven-year, $142 million deal with the Red Sox, the Yankees threw more money at Lee.
Less than 24 hours of their initial six-year, $140 million offer to Lee, the Yankees reportedly upped the ante to include a seventh season. Reluctant to give any pitcher a contract of that length, must less a 32-year-old, the Yanks have obviously gone into panic mode over their top free agent target. The growing possibility that Andy Pettitte might retire makes the Lee signing that much more imperative.
Even a seventh year might not be enough to bring Lee to New York, however. He loves Texas, and Rangers executives were in Arkansas Thursday trying to convince Lee that taking their six-year contract would better serve him and his family. The Nationals have also made an offer, and the Daily News reported the Angels have jumped into the running.
Lee could make his decision over the weekend — or not. All Yankees general manager Brian Cashman can do now is hold his breath. He has put all other business on hold for now.
“I feel like Hannibal Lecter in a straitjacket waiting on this Cliff Lee thing,” Cashman told The Post before Thursday’s close of the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla.