Although the Yankees are considered the current front-runner for Lee’s services based on their financial resources alone, there are sure to be plenty of other teams who make a run for the crafty lefty.

Measuring Lee’s worth is no small task, as his success has not stretched over the duration of his career; he’s been nothing short of amazing since 2008.

What teams could benefit from adding him to the staff?

Every team in the league, that’s for sure.

However, the following 10 teams are the most realistic suitors in addition to the Bronx Bombers.


1. New York Mets, NL East

With staff ace Johan Santana out until at least May at the very earliest, the Mets are slated to go with either R.A. Dickey or Mike Pelfrey as the 2011 Opening Day starter. If the team hopes to actually fill the seats in their beautiful stadium, that’s not a good look.

The Metropolitans will be hesitant to hand out another multi-year, lucrative deal to a starter after doing so with Santana, and new GM Sandy Alderson is not the type of guy to dole out huge dollars on a guy that only takes the field once every five days.


2. Washington Nationals, NL East

If the Nationals ever hope to compete in their division, the team is going to need a legitimate ace to do so, and there’s no better definition than Lee. Although some believe that the Nats don’t have the dollars necessary to make it happen, General Manager Mike Rizzo has indicated that they are looking at every and any way to improve the ballclub.

Should the Nationals be able to lure the lefty onto the squad, they’d finally have the beginnings of something special in the Washington rotation that could help bring future free agents to the re-building franchise.


3. Minnesota Twins, AL Central

The Twinnies seem to make a postseason appearance every season regardless of who is on the roster, so just imagine what Lee could do for this team. While Minnesota probably doesn’t have the money necessary to pull the trigger, Lee would flourish magnificently in Minny.

SP Francisco Liriano is still a bit of a question mark, and the depth behind him is mediocre, at best. A potent pairing of the killer L’s atop the Twins rotation could be awfully intimidating for opponents, and go a very long way toward the team finally being able to beat the Yanks.


4. Milwaukee Brewers, NL Central

Anyone who watched CC Sabathia pitch the Brewers into the playoffs, can imagine what Lee could do for the franchise. A rotation that seems to be constantly toiling in mediocrity, the Brewers would greatly benefit from adding a long-term anchor at the helm.

With a lineup that boasts both Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, Lee could win well over 20 games in what is arguably baseball’s easiest division.


5. Los Angeles Dodgers, NL West

It’s too bad that the Dodgers are facing tough financial times in the wake of the McCourt family drama, because Los Angeles would be the perfect spotlight for Lee to shine.

The NL West is undoubtedly the worst offensive division in baseball, and Lee would have a field day facing the D-Backs and Padres on a regular basis.


6. Detroit Tigers, AL Central

Despite the Tigers having a very prolific offense last season, they failed to make it to the playoffs yet again. Already with blossoming starters Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, the Tigers would have the best 1-2-3 in baseball if they added Cliff Lee.

With Detroit having around $50 million coming off the books, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that they decide to spend lavishly and go for the big free-agent splash. If they sign C Victor Martinez, Lee’s battery-mate for the good majority of his career, it bodes even better for their chances.


7. Toronto Blue Jays, AL East

After shocking the world with their success this season, the Blue Jays are clearly a team on the rise in a very competitive division. If they have any hope of ever finding themselves back in postseason play ahead of the Yankees and/or Red Sox, it starts with signing Lee.

With youngsters Brandon Morrow and Kyle Drabek looking to be a big (and cheap) part of the Jays’ rotation plans, adding the veteran Lee would provide an immense boost to the entire clubhouse.

Lee may want to have his passport at the ready.


8. Chicago White Sox, AL Central

GM Kenny Williams is known to be a big time gambler as evidenced by his track record, and who better to go all in with than Lee?

The Jake Peavy acquisition hasn’t gone exactly according to plan, and the team already has a solid offensive core to pair with rising starters John Danks and Gavin Floyd. If they can get Lee to man the top spot in the rotation, there could be bright times ahead for the South Side Sox.


9. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, AL West

The Angels would be higher up on this list if they weren’t rumored to already be heavily after free agents Carl Crawford and Adrian Beltre.

Having said that, should the Halos swing and miss on one or both of the aforementioned, the Angels have a legitimate chance to steal Lee off the market. With a ton of money to spend and owner Arte Moreno ready to sign his name, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Lee land in LA after all.


10. Baltimore Orioles, AL East

The Baltimore pitching staff has been so notoriously bad over past season’s that the 2009 staff ace was Kevin Milwood.

After missing out on adding Teixeira to the team, perhaps the O’s brass will once again be willing to open up their checkbooks for this extraordinary talent. Should Baltimore be able to somehow land Lee, it would not only boost team morale, but additionally would serve as the initial stepping stone toward re-building the pitching staff.

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