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Cliff Lee, Phillies Agree on $120M Deal

Cliff Lee is the biggest gem of the 2010-2011 off-season, but is him going to the Yankees a foregone conclusion? (Associated Press / Jeff Chiu)

According to multiple sources, Cliff Lee has agreed to sign a five-year, $120 million deal (with a reachable vesting option for a sixth year) with the Philadelphia Phillies in a shocking turn of events. Lee had been rumored to sign with the Rangers or Yankees, but instead he took the lowest offer on the table.

Offers on the Table for Lee

Phillies Offer (winner) 5 years $120M Vesting Option for 6th Year
Yankees Offer 6 years $132M $16M Player Option for 7th Year
Rangers Offer 6 years $138M Vesting Options could bring deal to $161M

So, if you believe the reports, Cliff Lee reportedly walked away from $28 million in guaranteed money with the Yankees to sign with Philadelphia, who may boast an historically strong starting rotation. A year after he was traded to the Mariners, Lee now joins Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels.


The Red Sox reportedly made a seven-year offer at lower amounts of money to drive New York’s offer higher, but in the end it appears their strategy meant nothing. For the first time in forever, the Yankees could not spend enough to get their man, and now that the Red Sox have signed away Carl Crawford, they may be scrambling for Plan C. With Sergio Mitre and Ivan Nova slated to join CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett in the starting rotation, look for New York to beg Andy Pettitte to return, sign another starter and/or make a run at Royals ace Zack Greinke.

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5 comments for “Cliff Lee, Phillies Agree on $120M Deal”

  1. Phillies option apparently is an easy one to reach and it would add 27.5 million to the deal.

    Cliff Lee did walk away from some money. The amount… to a certain degree probably didn’t mean as much.

    He’ll still be set for life as a Philly. As long as he doesn’t get a Charles Barkley gambling problem

    Posted by JosBDeAwesome | December 14, 2010, 1:17 pm
  2. No doubt bummed out as a fan

    Posted by Fresno Criminal Defense Lawyer | December 14, 2010, 2:46 pm
  3. Cliff Lee didn’t walk away from more money. Per year, Philly’s offer was the most lucrative. He only walked away from more money if he doesn’t get that option or doesn’t sign another contract in five years. That won’t happen; Cliff Lee didn’t walk away from more money. In the end, it was all about the money, and Cliff Lee will get it.

    Posted by John | December 14, 2010, 5:12 pm
  4. Both of the other offers would have given him more depending on the options. Probably 10 million more. It was not all about the money. If it was he would have settled on the most. All 3 were in the same range and he settled on the lower of them.

    Posted by JosBDeAwesome | December 15, 2010, 1:22 pm
  5. […] Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies, the Yankees were left without their prime pitching target. With offensive options already dropping […]

    Posted by Zack Greinke Traded to Brewers | Sports of Boston | December 19, 2010, 11:09 am

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