(* Trade Rumor Offerings To Chew On For Fun, Even Yuks)

Not to be confused with veteran reliever Todd Coffey, the TROT COFFEY is a mailing list-only update on various trade and free agent rumblings unearthed, if not hatched, by the media or player agents:

[Web post of this typically mailing-list-only feature today . . . . For future COFFEY reports, you need to sign up for the free mailing list.  There will be multiple COFFEY’s per day this week.]

?    Here we go.

?    Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated tweets this morning that the “buzz is [Cliff] Lee wants to stay with [the] Rangers.  But one competing GM said, ‘Steinbrenners aren’t going to get Lee get away this time.'”

?    Newsday’s Ken Davidoff writes: “I think this could go down very quickly: Offer from the Yankees, counter from the Rangers, counter from the Yankees, game over.”

?    ESPN’s Jayson Stark notes that, according to sources, neither New York nor Texas has made a formal offer to Lee yet, with one source suggesting the deal “will take three days at the Winter Meetings” to get done.  Stark handicaps things this way: “[A]sk yourself this: Do the Yankees EVER get outbid when they target a player like Lee?  Right.  Never.  So no wonder that team is so confident.”

?    Yankees GM Brian Cashman said this to a gaggle of reporters: “I flew into Arkansas especially to meet with Cliff Lee and his wife and his agent.  I did that very early in the process.  I was the first one out of the gates there.  So everybody knows I got ahead of everybody else.  But it’s their dance card.  They’re setting the pace of this thing.  I can only wait and respect the process they put themselves in.  It took them a long time, they fought through a lot of different cities to get to this point.  I’m hoping this will be the last city he ends up in, in New York.  We’ll see how it plays out.”

?    The Yankees GM and Rangers GM are very, very different.

?    Not a big surprise, but Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports confirms that Zack Greinke’s partial no-trade clause, which presently allows him to block deals to 15 teams, does not include Texas (or Atlanta or Cincinnati), but does include Toronto, who has emerged as an interested suitor.  Greinke, of course, can choose not to exercise the no-trade – probably for a cost.

?    Heyman likes Texas and Atlanta in the Greinke race.

?    According to one local report, while it would take a package of multiple high-end prospects for the Rangers to acquire Greinke, it’s possible that the greatest haggling point might be the inclusion of 17-year-old shortstop Jurickson Profar, whom the Rangers don’t want to part with.

?    Peter Gammons points out that with Boston completing the Adrian Gonzalez trade (and moving Kevin Youkilis to third base), and Oakland ducking out of talks with Adrian Beltre, the veteran third baseman is now “sitting on the Angels’ doorstep, if they so choose” to sign him.

?    All right.  The most important contest since Game Five is about to get underway.

?    Buckle up. 

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