The Texas Rangers won their first-ever American League pennant in 2010. If they hope to make a return to the Fall Classic and avenge their loss to the San Francisco Giants, they have one offseason priority: re-sign Cliff Lee.
Lee was nothing spectacular in the regular season, but in the playoffs, he showed once again why he is so sought-after. Without him, Texas would have probably lost to the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS.
Obviously, the Yankees will be after him, and outbidding New York is an immensely difficult task. However, Lee has said that he enjoys playing with the Rangers. They are coming off the back of their most successful season ever and have just landed a huge, 20-year, $3 billion TV rights deal. Having Cliff Lee pitching in Arlington in 2011 might not be as improbable as it first appears.
That said, though, Rangers fans have to prepare themselves for the worst. If their ace leaves, their chances of back-to-back pennants take a huge hit.
They have very few viable options if Cliff Lee decides not to have "TEXAS" emblazoned on his chest next season.