It was somewhat of a slow news day unless you were at the Winter Meetings and got to catch some of the fun sound bytes from Joe Maddon's presser or Mike Scioscia acknowledging the existence of on base percentage. Sure we got to tweet for a couple of hours about a potential swap of the Orioles' Nolan Reimold for the Rays' Jason Bartlett until that deal completely fell apart. Leave it to SI's Jon Heyman to save the day/evening with one little hashtag on Twitter. A little after 6 p.m. Heyman tweeted a second team was offering Cliff Lee seven years...
The "double mystery" hashtag was immediately a big hit with the Twitter nation and it sparked jokes ranging from the Scooby Doo variety to anything having to do with hamburgers. Now I could join in all of the reindeer games and make jokes for the rest of the night but I'd prefer to use my time for more productive endeavors. That's right, it's time for some wild and careless speculation about Lee's secret suitors...
This isn't exactly me going out on a limb since the Angels have been attached to every big name free agent on the market but the Halos do not like going over five years for contracts. I'd personally love to see a Lee, Jered Weaver, Dan Haren rotation but I desperately want Carl Crawford too. This is your last chance Santa...
The mystery: Is Arte Moreno's vast fortune actually from billboards or was he the basis of the Mexican Drug Lord from seasons five and six of Weeds? Either way, I'd like to see more Mary-Louise Parker at Angels games.
Okay, I promise the speculation will get more careless in a minute. The Nats were rumored to be in on the Lee sweepstakes but denied making the initial seven year bid. Perhaps they made the second one.
The mystery: After the Nats laid out seven years and $126 million to Jayson Werth, it seems far fetched that Washington could afford another deal bigger than that. Unless Obama is funding the Nationals new payroll structure under the guise of this insane health care plan where Tommy John surgery is the only thing that's completely free. (Note: Don't send emails. I know Obama is a White Sox fan and I don't care about "Obama care" because I plan on making enough money from this blog to afford my own personal third world country doctor.)
3. Nippon-Ham Fighters
I told you it was about get wild and careless. It's widely known that Cliff Lee is a big Sumo wrestling supporter and his eighth favorite food is sushi. Nippon could afford the fat cash thanks to their success in meat packing (hee-hee).
The mystery: What is Spam made of?
4. Mariners + Indians
In this scenario, Seattle and Cleveland join forces and each of his former teams would get Lee every other year for six years. Then they trade him before the seventh year of the contract because both teams are still lousy. The good news for Cleveland and Seattle is they'll go down in the history books for co-owning a player for a long term contract. The bad news is they are both contracted after combining to lose 319 games in 2017.
The mystery: Why do people watch Mariners and Indians games?
After 18 losing seasons and never having an ace-caliber starter, the Pirates splurge and dedicate 87% of their payroll to Lee. Unfortunately, Lee also becomes the 2nd and 3rd starters as well as the first baseman and right fielder. The 20 man roster is an utter disaster.
The mystery: Does futility know no bounds?