59 thoughts on “Lee Is A Philly (Again)

    • Thanks JEROK, I was going to cite someone’s snarky comment on the Yanks losing out on Lee despite all of the money offered. You’ve saved me the trouble.

    • We won 27 World Championships without Cliff Lee. I’m sure we can win another next year too.

    • cobra, I covered this in an earlier post. The Yankees' offer was, in my opinion, a solid offer. They were not trying to get Lee on the cheap, not by any means, but the offer was not too rich either. I think the Phils got themselves a bargain.

      Yes, this is a little bit like shopping for a new house, and seeing the "dream house" that costs more than you want to pay, and making the big money offer that you half hope is not accepted. But it's only a little bit like this. The Yanks really wanted Lee. They've wanted Lee for a long time. No way we can pretend that this is the outcome we wanted.

      • Give credit to Phils GM, 2 extremely talented pitchers signing for a lot less to stay in Philadelphia .

        The many number of fans i see lashing out saying "good riddance" "thank god he didnt sign here we dont want him" "he isnt worth all that money"
        It reminds me of how Red Sox fans were when we signed Tex. Guess it comes with the territory of being a fan

        • Credit to Cliff too for not going after the money.

          P.S. the Rangers offered 23mil per season for 6 years with a vesting option for 7th

          Anyone watch the show Entourage this reminds me of one of the season finale's.
          When Vince leaves Ari for a different agent. Will try and find a "legal" link definitely worth the watch

        • colins, there's some "sour grapes" in the reaction, which is understandable. The comparison to Boston with Teix is a good one. There's a psychology to being rejected where we naturally want to reject the person who has rejected us. Truth is that we wanted Cliff Lee more than Cliff Lee wanted to play for the Yankees. He turned down a lot of Yankee money, and also a lot of Ranger money, to play once more for the Phillies. Yes, I guess they must have something good going on down there because you're right, Halladay ALSO signed with Philly at a reported bargain rate.

    • Well, there's a spot open, in any event. Plus a few dollars have been freed up for Kerry Wood, if he's willing to take back his role as 8th inning guy.

  1. The one real bright side to this is that i hope history repeats itself. Last time someone the Yankees really wanted was Greg Maddux in '92 well we kicked his behind the following years to win the WS :)

    Before i head to bed cant really think of a good plan B emphasis on good (meaning not giving up unreasonable amount in prospects/$ etc)

    Kansas has a great group of pitching prospects one of the Yankees strong suit, they need positional players more than anything.
    Felix? no matter how much i want this to happen the reality is it won't.
    Carpenter? Cardinals seem to be trying to win next year hard to see them give him up this offseason though it is possible in July
    Floyd? honestly don't know much about the player/team needs.
    Carl Pavano? i just threw up in my mouth
    Bhuelre? Read somewhere recently that he could be traded. Good innings eater nothing more

    The Yankee players who are most likely going to be asked but in my opinion should be untouchable.

    Phil Huges he is the #2 or #3 started depending on how you look at it, trading him will most likely be a step backwards not forward. Still cashman can get creative.
    Gardner right now the outfield is a good for NYY, with the major free agents in the outfield gone trading him would just create more holes.
    The last though its more 50-50 Jesus Montero, Posada is not coming back next year, Montero is the safest bet right now to take over, cant imagine Cervilli being it or Russel Martin if he signs with Yanks.
    Just to fill a hole now we are creating a big hole for years later if we trade Jesus

    • colins, we had to wait 4 years to beat Maddux head to head in a World Series. I think by then the sting of his rejection of the Yankees was long forgotten.

      The obvious first plan B move is to resign Pettitte. After that, there's no obvious move to me, either. The primary attraction of Cliff Lee was that we could bring him in without trading anyone else. Now, the team has to consider trading prospects for an established talent. Much depends on who is available and for what price, which makes it difficult to speculate. Personally, I'd add Garza's name to the ones you've mentioned, though there are others on this site who do not like him.

      • I was 2 years old in '92 didnt really matter to me much i just remember people saying when we beat him head to head regarding it.

        What i was trying to point out more was after '92 the following 7 WS Yanks won 4 of them. Greg Maddux went to Atlanta for the chance to win championship's but we ended up winning a lot of those so called championship's :)

  2. I think this comes down to building a legacy. Cliff Lee loves being the center of attention in the postseason, and he probably figures his best shot at getting to the World Series every year is with the Phillies (who were clearly better than everyone else in the NL before they signed Lee). The Rangers might not even reach the playoffs again in Lee's career, and the Yankees do play in the best division in baseball, where three of the four best teams in baseball reside (the fourth being the Phillies). Lee's probably also figured out that pitching in the NL is a lot easier.

    • Rabid, I think this comes down to the unfathomable nature of the human heart. For all we heard about how much Lee liked it in Texas, it appears that he liked it better in Philly. It turned out that playing close to home was not that important, and all the speculation about state taxes turned out to be meaningless. There's a part of me (a very small part) that likes Lee not taking the biggest money offer. It turned out to be about something else. People aren't predictable.

      As for Lee liking to be the center of attention, he's not going to be THE center of attention in Philly. He may not even be their #2 starter. That's one sick rotation.

      • I also think it comes down to the unfathomable nature of one's wife's human heart. Supposedly, Mrs. Lee really loved her time in Philly.

        • I hope he struggles in the first year or two and the people of Philly make her long for New York fans.

      • I'm guessing Cliff Lee has short term memory loss. The Phillies traded him to a team that went no where to make room for Doc. And it is obvious Lee thought his talents were better suited for the national league. Signing with the Phillies doesn't guarantee anything. The worst part is that we wasted time behind him. Let's just get one more pitcher and hope old AJ comes back this year.

  3. Larry since your up what still i think i found a potential SP/4th OF and a future RF prospect who is set to be starting RF next season.

    With Cliff coming Phil's need to clear some cash, one thing the Yanks can definitely help with.

    Joe Blanton (2011 – 8.5mil, 2012 – 8.5mil), Raul Ibanez (2011 – 11.5mil) and Dominic Brown for one of the Killer B's (one who is still few years from majors), Joba + someone else and add in a few lower prospects.

    We take in 20mil this season and 8.5mil next solves 1 spot of the rotation if Andy does not come back. We get an albeit really expensive 4th outfielder, who can also help relieve Tex if necessary with swish going to first and Ibanez to right. A prospect who is set to start RF for Phil's this year.

    Granted we might have to give up a bit more than i stated but still reasonably possible right? or am i delirious already from not sleeping

    • colins, "delirious" is probably too strong a word. You'd have to work hard to sell me on Blanton. I have not done the research, but I doubt I'd trade Joba for Blanton straight up. You'd have to work overtime to sell me on Ibanez. Even if I liked him better, $11.5 mil is WAY too expensive for a backup OF, even for the Yankees. I don't think the Phillies are trading Brown; isn't he the Jayson Werth replacement?

      I don't mean to shoot down your ideas. All ideas are welcome at this point. To be sure, I have few ideas of my own (other than to resign Pettitte and Wood if possible).

      • Ibanez and Blanton are not great, especially considering Ibanez age they are average. Phil's need to dump salary hence why i am even entertaining this idea. The Yanks taking in both of them clearing 20mil for Phil's for taking that big of a hit in payroll (which is just for 1 year, 8.5mil the next) we ask for Dominic Brown (yes is meant to fill in for Werth), we give up some of the players i mentioned earlier.

        Next years SP free agents are not much better than whats left in FA right now. We can either let Dominic start this year opening up the opportunity to trade Swisher get some talent to trade for another SP incase Andy does retire or let Dominic spend time in the minors this year and come up next year, where again swish becomes trade-able.

        If we do look for any other SP via trade be in Grienke or Garza the price has now definitely gone up.

        I guess i am more or less looking for a way for the yanks to win in this trade.

  4. No one wants to play for the Yankees because their fans are either idiots who care but know nothing about baseball or rich people who don't really care and know nothing about baseball. Also, who wants to play for an organization that is killing baseball?

    • LERSTO, you're kidding, right? You posted this just because you felt sorry for us and wanted to give us a laugh?

      I was going to respond by asking how the Yanks could be killing baseball if no one wants to play for us. Is it because of all the games we have to forfeit because we cannot find 9 guys who will play in pinstripes?

      Unfortunately, I'm not able to post a reply to you, because I'm too big an idiot to string three words together. Luckily, I'm so rich that I've got my butler to type a response to you.

    • Last time I checked the greatest baseball player ever A-Rod, greatest shortstop ever Derek Jeter, the greatest pitcher ever Mariano Rivera, the greatest offensive catcher ever Jorge Posada, the greatest second baseman in the game right now Robinson Cano, and the greatest team man in baseball CC Sabbathia all play for the 27 time world champions.

      • Great points. We're still essentially the same 95 game winning team from last year. I might not take Jorge over Yogi or Bench, though.

        We still have to figure out who's going to start the third, fourth and fifth games of the season. We have some question marks. Cashman still has some work to do. I doubt anyone's picking us to win no. 28 next year, not at this point anyway. But we've still got a pretty damn good team.

  5. It's kinda pathetic for Lee to go back to Philly… who traded him to get Halladay. It's like a guy (Philly) dumping a girl (Lee) for a prettier girl (Halladay) and then asking the first girl to join them in a 3-some. Have some self-respect Cliff

    • Joseph, thanks. I never thought I'd receive a comment like Bill Simmons gets in his mailbag. I think I can retire from blogging a happy man. I am SOOOO tempted to say "Yup, these are my readers".

      I may hate myself in the morning, but Joseph gets a thumbs up.

  6. I'm yankee fan that's been living in philly since '07. this is the worst possible outcome other than him going to boston. i cant wait to hear sports talk radio tomorrow crowning them world series champs for the next three seasons.

    • Julian, you ARE a true Yankee fan. Even with the miserable day ahead of you tomorrow on sports radio, you STILL recognize that it would have been worse if Lee went to Boston.

  7. Larry, where is my blog post telling me not to panic? Because that’s what I’m doing as I stare at a possible rotation of


    • Taylor C, don't panic. It is December. The Yankees have money, prospects in the minors and sharp brains in the front office. There is no one of Lee's quality available by trade or in free agency, which is why it made sense to pursue him as a plan "A". But with the possible exception of Shaun Markum, all possible plan "B" options are still open.

      I counsel patience. The Yankees did what they should have done, which was aggressively pursue Cliff Lee. That option did not pan out, which is the way of the world. Not even the Yankees get their first choice every time. So now let's give the team the time to come up with the best alternative.

  8. I would bet a significant amount of money that Mrs. Lee getting spit on while visiting the stadium had a lot to do with this one. WAGs are used to getting yelled at, but getting spit on is something else altogether.

    In this case, Philly is a contendor and paying him a heck of a lot of money as well, so the decision was a lot easier – not like the only alternative was Pittsburgh or something.

    Hopefully a lesson to Yankee fans. Call them whatever you want (within reason), but please, no spitting.

  9. What about taking a flyer on Brandon Webb? He's obviously not THE answer, but he has a bigger upside than Nova and Mitre…not that I think for even a second that Taylor C's example of a possible rotation will become reality.

    Burnett is definitely going to be in the mix, so if the Yanks can convince Pettitte to return, there's really only one spot to fill. I wouldn't count on Webb being that guy, but I wouldn't mind seeing him compete for that 5th spot, possibly against Joba (if they can bring back Wood or someone else for the setup role).

    • Webb would be on my radar if I'm Brian Cashman. His has potential upside, as you say, and he's a free agent. Problem with Webb is, he hasn't pitched in 2 years and there's no assurance he'll ever pitch again on a major league level. If it proves out that Webb cannot pitch effectively, the Yanks would still need 5 other starting pitchers capable of handling the job. So, Webb might be part of the "plan B", but he's not the complete plan.

  10. Ok, let's just take a deep breath here guys. First, we don't know what's happening with Pettite yet. If he comes back the rotation gets much stronger.

    Second, let's give Cashman some credit. Have you noticed he's probably been the calmest person throughout this whole thing? Everybody has been saying he's been outplayed, but I have a feeling he has a Plan B that would be most team's Plan A+. He's done some great things as GM, and I keep hearing he was waiting on the Lee decision to pull the trigger on something.

    To be honest I'm actually more excited than I was before. Having Lee would have been great, but it would have been the same old "Yanks sign best free agent" offseason again. Isn't anyone else excited to see what Cashman can pull out of his hat? Now he has to be creative and we'll get to see how good of a GM he really is. Personally I tend to trust that Cashman will pull something off. I'm looking forward to see what he can do.

        • Nice post John.

          I not only think Cashman has a plan B possibly, but i think he's finally realizing that there's no real sense of urgency. The team went to the ALCS with this current squad. Why does he have to pay for (or over-pay for) more guys when this is essentially the same squad that won it 2 years ago?

          The Red sox have a great December to remember, but last i checked, the season ended in November (at least for some teams) And it doesn't start until April.

          If our squad plays to it's full potential there's really not too many needs Cashman needs to tackle.

          But to be honest, it would of been cool to have Cliff Lee.
          But it's not the end of the world, folks.

          • Right Glenn. As many people have said the Yanks were not desperate for a starter like they were in 2009 when CC was on the market. I think their offer reflected that. If Cashman was desperate he would have offered an 8th year or upped the 7 year offer to CC money. He did neither, which further cements the idea that Cashman has another plan. We just don't know what it is yet. And that's a good thing because that means none of the other teams know either.

            Like the Martin signing. Low risk with a potential for high reward.

    • God knows I love me some Cashman, but I'll wait to see if they actually believe the stuff they've been saying about Greinke not wanting to play in New York before I get excited about their Plan B.

    • John, I was with you until you got to the part about being "more excited". What Cashman can do is limited by the opportunities available. He's not a magician. Moreover, the most difficult time to pull off a creative and exciting trade is when you're trying to meet a need that everyone knows you have.

      Personally, I'm more excited to see the Yankees rely more on player development than on player acquisition. I'm happy to know that the Yankees still have a first round draft pick in this year's draft (reported to be a very deep draft). I hope that the Yankees don't have to give up a lot of young talent just to sign one of the marginal arms still available this post-season.

      • Hey Larry, no he's not a magician, but I think he has something up his sleeve. Mostly I'm excited to see what will happen now that we don't have Cliff Lee. It sometimes gets boring just signing FAs left and right. I really enjoyed being surprised by the Granderson signing last year (never saw it coming). Ok, I didn't enjoy the Vasquez signing, but you can't win them all.

        I do agree with you though. Let's not give up the farm. I want to see what Montero and Romine can do. I'd like to see if Brackman can be big time lefty. And I want to see this with the Yankees. It's nice getting the FAs and big trades, but as much as I love having Grandy on the team, I would have enjoyed seeing Jackson's 1st year in pinstripes.

  11. On the bright side, if we beat out the Red Sox and the Phillies this year we’ll get to lecture them about money not buying championships.

    I enjoyed the 3-some comment, but I see Lee as more of a battered wife in this case. The Phillies reeled him in with sweet whispers of forever, then smacked him around and threw him into a dumpster (Mariners) for not having supper ready on time (failing to single-handedly deliver a championship). Now they’re saying “I’m sorry baby, I didn’t mean it, you know I love you” because the goomah (Halladay), for all his curves, also can’t cook a meal on time. It’s all roses and candy now for Clifton, but what happens the next time supper’s late? An uppercut into a trash can (Pirates)? It’s disgusting.

    • After consulting with the wife and daughter, I'd say that this might be closest in theme to "The Philadelphia Story", the classic comedy from 1940 starring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart. Lee is Katharine, the rich and pampered heiress who divorced Cary Grant (the Phillies) and is about to marry some rich industrialist politician (played by John Howard) that no one likes (the Yankees?). Wisecracking reporter Stewart (Rangers) shows up to cover the wedding, and has a brief fling (trip to World Series) with Hepburn. Husband to be finds out about the fling, gets nasty (pours beer on Lee's wife) and reveals his true colors to everyone. But it's Wedding Day, all the guests have arrived and the Wedding March is playing. What is Katharine to do? She chooses to remarry the old husband. Fade to black.

      OK. It's not a perfect analogy. I particularly hate the fact that the Yanks don't even get credit above the title in this story. But it's better than imagining Halladay as a vamp, or that Lee is a Philly because Halladay burned the roast.

      The other possible story choice is "There's Something About Mary." Lee is Mary. The Phillies are Ben Stiller …

  12. I just read this Rangers- 23mil AAV, Phillies – 22.5mil AAV and Yanks – 21.1 mil AAV
    Yanks are second on total value at 148mil, Rangers had the best at 161mil and Phillies last at 135mil

    guess he didnt really leave much money on the table.

    • colins, the AAV business is a bit confusing, and I've seen different numbers reported in different places. But you're comparing AAVs over different contract lengths. The Yanks' $21.1 million AAV was over a 7 year guaranteed contract, so the per year numbers were lower and the total numbers were higher. The Phils are only guaranteeing 5 years. From all I read, Lee's camp pushed the Yankees hard for a 7 year deal. If Lee had come back to NY and asked for a 5-year deal, it would have been at a higher AAV than $21.1 million, probably something closer to $25 million.

      All that being said, it appears that the Yankees never offered Lee 7 years at $23 million per year, as had been reported by some.