Monday, December 13, 2010

Cliff Lee Mysteriously Returns to Philly

Cliff Lee will pitch for neither the Texas Rangers nor the New York Yankees.

According to the MLB Network, Lee has agreed to a five-year, $100 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. It is a contract reportedly worth less than what he would have received with either the Rangers or the Yankees and is for a shorter duration. Both the Yankees and Rangers were offering contracts up to seven years worth between $125 and $150 million.

Lee, of course, pitched with the Phillies during the stretch run in 2009 and helped lead the team to a National League pennant and twice beat the Yankees during the World Series. The Phillies then traded Lee in the off season to the Seattle Mariners. The veteran lefty rejoins a rotation that now includes 2010 NL Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels. Now that's a fearsome foursome. Suffice it to say, methinks the Phillies are nearly a lock to win a fifth straight NL East Division title next year.

I'm glad to see Jon Heyman got the last laugh. The Sports Illustrated baseball writer was mocked by the likes of Peter Gammons and Buster Olney for suggesting a "mystery team" had joined the bidding war for Lee's services. Well, the next time there's a breaking story I'll take Heyman's word over that of Gammons and Olney any day of the week.

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