Goodness, it's a very busy day on the Hot Stove front, even if most of it sort of falls into the "Early winter" category:
--Cliff Lee is entertaining Brian Cashman at his Arkansas home today. No offer is expected to be made. Lee appears determined to let his free agency play out some before making any hard decisions. And why shouldn't he? It's not like teams are going to move onto a Plan B. There's no good Plan B out there.
I find it interesting that Cashman went by himself. He has evolved into the Yankees' face of the franchise. He closed the deal for CC Sabathia two years ago, and to skip ahead for a moment, he informed Jorge Posada that he would be catching less next season.
It speaks well of Cashman, although it also speaks poorly of Joe Girardi, who doesn't have great people skills. Cashman took this torch from Joe Torre, who took it from George Steinbrenner.
I'm going to write a column expanding on this notion. But please don't tell the competition.
--As for Posada, we knew this was coming. Last year, the Yankees mused about leaving the DH spot "open" for their veterans, but then they went ahead and signed Nick Johnson, which didn't work out very well. This time, they're seriously going to leave the DH "open" for Posada, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. I'd think they'd try to bring in one veteran bat to consider, even if it's on a minor-league deal. Someone like...Jason Giambi. (Kidding, kidding.)
--Jeter's agent Casey Close met with Cashman, Yankees president Randy Levine and managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, earlier this week in Tampa. Indications are that the Yankees didn't extend a formal offer to Jeter, but that the two sides are far apart - and yet they understand that they'll find common ground, somehow. Neither side has a great alternative.