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Mystery Team In On Lee; Decision 'Early This Week'

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) -- The New York Yankees and Texas Rangers are waiting for a decision on which offer Cliff Lee will accept. They are the two known bidders for the $100 million-plus pitcher, although according to WFAN's Jon Heyman, there may a "mystery team" in the mix.

While the mystery team remains a mystery, the Los Angeles Angels and Boston Red Sox have both been linked to Lee this offseason. According to Heyman's sources, the Philadelphia Phillies can be dismissed from MLB's Lee sweepstakes.

Meanwhile, the prized free-agent lefty continues to deliberate.

The Yankees offered Lee a seven-year contract last Thursday after making an opening proposal of six years for $137.5 million to $140 million.

"Everything is progressing," Hank Steinbrenner, the Yankees' co-chairman, said during a telephone interview Friday with The Associated Press. "We made the offer. It's a very good offer, and we certainly hopes he takes it. It's all up to him and his agent. We'll see what happens."

Lee would be 39 in the contract's final season, but Steinbrenner isn't worried. He cites the example of Andy Pettitte, who at 38 was 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA this year while missing two months because of a groin strain, a year after going 14-8 with a 4.16 ERA.

"Looking at how well Andy pitched up until this year and so forth, and he's a lefty, the same kind of pitcher as Andy, I don't really see a problem," Steinbrenner said. "I think Cliff's the kind of guy that can get it done and be effective for a long time. He's a great pitcher."

Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg went to Arkansas last week to personally present Lee with multiple offers.

"The information we gave him... is a lot to digest," Greenberg said in an interview with the AP. "We want them to take as much time as they need to come to a fully informed decision that they are comfortable with."

According to Heyman, Lee will announce his decision "early this week."

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