Roundup: Winter Meetings eve edition

On the eve of the Winter Meetings, attention around the league is turning to the big prizes of the free agent market. That’s right, the sweepstakes for Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth and others could be about to kick into high gear. 

It’s no secret that the Rangers and Yankees are two of the major players in the Lee market. It could come down contract years, as the Rangers will likely only go as far as a five-year deal, the Boston Globe reported on Sunday. The Yankees, on the other hand, could offer up a sixth year to seal the deal, the report suggested.

While a large number of free agents could sign during next week’s Meetings, negotiations with Crawford could take time, because of the number of interested parties, The Globe also noted. The Angels and Red Sox have long been seriously interested in acquiring Crawford, while the Yankees’ interest is newer. The Bombers could be touching base with Crawford to drive the price up for the Red Sox, Joel Sherman of the New York Post speculated on Sunday.

Outside of the heavyweights, there are plenty of names that could come off the board soon. Here’s at Sunday’s action around the league: 

– Looking for another catcher to supplement Chris Iannetta, the Rockies have interest in Bengie Molina, Trey Renck of the Denver Post tweeted on Sunday.  Another option for the Rockies is former Dodgers catcher Russell Martin, but he represents more of a long shot, according to Renck.

– The A’s have less than 24 hours to reach an agreement with Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Twitter Sunday. The negotiating window isn’t set to expire at midnight, but the two sides would have to agree by then to allow time for the physical. Not long after the A’s won the rights to negotiate with Iwakuma earlier this offseason, talks reportedly came to an impasse, making a deal appear unlikely. 

–Bailey Stephens

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