Cliff Lee wants to be on winner

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Texas Rangers ace Cliff Lee will become a free agent at season's end and speculation has long been that he will follow the path of other high-dollar free agents before him and sign with the New York Yankees.

That's not necessarily the case.

"It's been a good ride so far and, yeah, I could see myself being here in the future," Lee said of the Rangers. "But, only time will tell on that. I'm not going to corner myself on anything with that. But, I definitely enjoy it here and it looks like it's going to be a good team for years to come, and that's what I want to be a part of. I want to be a part of a winner and that's what this team looks like it's going to be for a little while.

"Hopefully, we do some damage here in the postseason, win the World Series, and that will make things a lot easier for me."

New Rangers ownership is planning a 2011 payroll to include a healthy contract in hopes of keeping the Arkansas native.

Jeff Caplan is a columnist and reporter for ESPNDallas.com.