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Cliff Lee Contacted By Yankees

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Sunday marked the beginning of the free agent negotiating period and the New York Yankees wasted little time getting their offseason underway. According to the Associated Press, the Yankees made contact with Cliff Lee's agent on Sunday, expressing their obvious interest in Lee.

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The Yankees were unsuccessful over the summer in an attempt to trade for Cliff Lee when he was a member of the Mariners. New York thought they had struck a deal with Seattle, offering top prospect Jesus Montero as the centerpiece of a trade, but the Rangers front office stepped in with a more appealing offer to Seattle, centered around Justin Smoak.

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The Nationals are also looking to make a run at Lee in free agency. Their two biggest transactions have come the past two years in the form of the First-Year Player Draft, selecting Stephen Strasburg with the first overall pick in 2009 and Bryce Harper with the first overall pick in 2010. 

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Lee seems receptive to staying in Texas, though, saying after the Rangers World Series loss that he'd "love" to return to the Rangers.

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