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Rangers Offseason Hinges On Cliff Lee

As if it weren't obvious, the Texas Rangers offseason is centered around Cliff Lee. Jon Daniels and the Rangers front office aren't expected to make any major moves until they know if Cliff Lee will be pitching in Arlington next year or if he'll be wearing pinstripes as a member of the Yankees.

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Per Jeff Wilson:

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The Rangers will continue to talk internally, to players' agents and to other teams about trades. But don't expect a wild flurry of transactions.

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"It's all connected, yeah," general manager Jon Daniels said. "It's all connected."

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Daniels isn't necessarily playing coy but is holding to the company line on Lee. The Rangers won't discuss the headway -- good or bad -- they are making with the left-hander, who is a free agent for the first time and is the top prize on the market.

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The Rangers don't want to tip their hand by letting comments find newspapers or the Internet, even seemingly harmless statements about where they think they stand with Lee.

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"I couldn't tell you. Honestly," Daniels said. "We're pretty clear on we'd love to have him back. He's in a great spot. He's got options."

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The Yankees will certainly be able to top the Rangers offer in terms of money and possibly years as well, so it'll come down to how much Lee enjoyed pitching in Texas and being close to his home in Arkansas. 

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Should the Rangers fail to re-sign Lee, it's widely speculated that Texas will make a run at Zack Greinke who the Royals have made available. Greinke would be under team control for two years before being eligible for free agency following the 2012 season.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.