Cliff Lee's agent Darek Braunecker met with the Yankees and the Rangers, and it's apparent that the stakes are heating up for the left-hander's services.

Bud Selig and his lieutenants always try to suppress salaries through legal means _ basically, begging the teams in a general sense not to go crazy - but even the Major League Baseball bigwigs expect Lee to get six years. And that six-year deal is far more likely to come from the Yankees than from the Rangers.

--The Jayson Werth contract continues to be the talk of the meetings, with clubs and agents blown away over Washington's commitment of seven years and $126 million. The folllow-up statement is, "Carl Crawford uses that $126 million figure as a floor in his negotiations."

But who will actually pay Crawford that sort of money? That's what inquiring minds want to know. The Red Sox? No chance. The Angels? More possible than Boston, yet still a long shot. The Tigers? You can never rule them out, but they've already spent a lot this offseason.

The Yankees? Don't see it, not as long as they sign Lee. The Rangers if they don't get Lee back? Possibly.

It'll be an interesting case. I spoke with one official today who predicted that Crawford will somehow find his way to the $150 million. That official wasn't sure what team would deliver, however.

--I sat in on Sandy Alderson's media session, and boy, there just isn't much going on there. Alderson, who has been quite frank so far when speaking with the media, said he doesn't anticipate making any big trades this week or, for that matter, this winter.

He said that the Mets would utilize patience to find what they wanted in this marketplace, which is a low-cost pitcher and a low-cost catcher and maybe some low-cost relievers, too.

The Mets are trying to hire Moises Alou as a first-base coach, SNY's Kevin Burkhardt reported.  Alou was regarded as a very smart player, but not a hard-working one. I wonder how that would translate over to coaching.

--The Yankees will meet with the representatives for free-agent lefty reliever Pedro Feliciano this week.

--Have a great night.


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