Lee’s agent: Yanks’ visit was “very favorable”

Darek Braunecker, the agent for heavily-sought free agent left-hander Cliff Lee, spoke for about 10 minutes Monday in the lobby of the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort.

While Braunecker said it was too early to tell if Lee would find a home by the end of the meetings Thursday, he wouldn’t be surprised. Braunecker is in the process of setting up meetings with a number of teams, though the Yankees and Rangers are thought to be Lee’s most aggressive suitors.
Brian Cashman’s November visit to Lee’s home in Arkansas was brought up as a topic. Here is what Braunecker said he and Lee took from that lunch together:
“It gave Cliff an opportunity to personalize the organization. The only experience he had with the Yankees prior to that was going to Yankee Stadium and playing in Yankee Stadium and his experiences in New York. It’s a good opportunity. Certain levels of free agents have the opportunity to go face to face with general managers, managers and pitching coaches and ownership. It’s something we anticipated and expected, and something that Cliff enjoyed. He’d never had a chance to visit with Brian Cashman before. You can’t help but like him. It was very favorable.”

Lee is on a hunting trip this week, and Braunecker has promised to call him with any necessary updates. Shooting deer might be one thing Lee would have to say goodbye to in moving to the tri-state area, but as far as Lee’s ability to be a ‘New York guy,’ Braunecker had this to say:
“Cliff has clearly demonstrated he can pitch in any market. When you think about it, he’s gone from Cleveland to Philly to Seattle to Texas. He hasn’t had a hiccup in any of them.”

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