Source: Yanks fly to meet with Cliff Lee

NEW YORK -- New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman will meet with Cliff Lee, his family and his agent in Arkansas on Wednesday to start persuading the team's No. 1 target that he should come to the Bronx, a baseball official told ESPNNewYork.com.

Cashman will try to convince Lee that he will fit in the Yankees clubhouse. Lee has already been sold on the virtues of the Bronx by his good buddy and former Cleveland Indians teammate, CC Sabathia.

Lee's agent, Darek Braunecker, is expected to ask Cashman for a contract similar to Sabathia's seven-year, $161 million deal. Despite the fact that Cashman is traveling to meet with Lee and his family, the left-hander is not expected to make a decision until the winter meetings early next month.

It is unclear if Cashman will offer a contract, but one official described it as a "meet and greet."

Part of the conversation could include an apology to Lee's wife, Kristen. During the playoffs, she told USA Today that she and other Rangers' family members and friends were taunted and spit at during the American League Championship Series games at Yankee Stadium.

After the incident, Braunecker said that he didn't think it would have any impact on Lee's decision.

The Yankees have been after Lee since July, when they nearly traded for him. In the deal the Yankees would have given up their top prospect, Jesus Montero. Montero will have a chance to win the team's starting catching job during spring training.

When the deal nearly went down to bring Lee to the Yankees, Sabathia, Lee and their wives were already planning where the Lees should live.

When Sabathia arrived, he had an out clause after next season. Sabathia has already said he has no plans to exercise it because he enjoys being a Yankee so much.

Andrew Marchand covers baseball for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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