Cliff Lee Signs $120 Million Pact with the Phillies

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, December 14, 2010 11:30 AM | Comments: 193
News, Payroll, Posts

Originally posted December 13, 2010 at 9:40 pm.

This afternoon Jayson Stark stated on ESPN.com that the Philadelphia Phillies were the rumored “mystery team” in the mix, along with the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees, for the services of a free agent known as Cliff Lee.

Later in the evening, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal cofirmed via Twitter that the Phillies are involved in the pursuit of Lee.  Other info via the likes of Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman (yes, the real one) and others state that the Yankees still have the edge on the monetary value of the contracts offered.  However, if location means enough, as Lee stated in the past that he loved his time in Philadelphia, the Phils are certainly a contender to be high on Lee’s list of desired destinations.

Other reports state that the Phillies have touched base with multiple teams in an effort to trade Joe Blanton, which would help to free up money in the team’s ever-rising payroll.  Blanton is owed $8.5 million ($17 million total) in each of the 2 years remaining on his contract.

If the Phillies do re-acquire Cliff Lee, plenty of Phillies fans will be overjoyed.  However, it will still stand to be mulled over by some that the Phillies gave up several top prospects for Lee, later gave Lee away for very little to Seattle and then spent more money than they’ve ever given any pitcher to bring him back.

UPDATE, 10:20 pm: The twitter comments are coming too quickly to keep posting on here from the big guns, but in summation, it seems to be getting closer and closer to become a reality. Let’s not jump ahead of ourself because NOTHING is even close to done. However, by the sounds of the tweets from Jon Heyman and others, the Phillies may have jumped into the lead.

These “sources” are saying that it is probably not going to happen tonight, but there are so many factors at work tonight. Heyman has said Lee could leave as much as $70 million on the table to sign with the Phillies. Wow. We’ll have more as it comes.  -Pat Gallen

UPDATE, 11:35: Do yourself a favor and read the twitter of Joel Sherman of the New York Post. He’s summing up everything beautifully over a series of tweets (so make sure you read them backwards, of course). – Pat Gallen

UPDATE, 11:55 pm: Jon Heyman says the Yankees have been told they are out of the Cliff Lee dealings. – PG

UPDATE, 11:58 pm: Sources tell T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com (Rangers beat writer) that Cliff Lee is coming to Philadelphia, it is a done deal. – Pat Gallen

UPDATE, 12:04 am: The deal is done! Cliff Lee is a Philadelphia Phillie according to multiple sources. Unbelievable. Welcome to the big time, folks. Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt, Lee. Have fun and Happy Holidays all! – PG

UPDATE, 12:17 am: The terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed, but word is it’s a five-year, $100 million deal. Lee reportedly leaves a seven-year deal on the table from the Yankees that would have been worth more than $150 million. -PG

UPDATE, 12:35 am: Todd Zolecki of MLB.com says the deal is for five years with a vesting sixth-year option. The deal could be worth up to $120 million. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com tweets that the Phillies are working to trade Joe Blanton to free up some salary space. – PG

UPDATE, 1:28 am: Joel Sherman of the New York Post says Lee left a seven year, $154 million pact on the table from the Yankees to join the Phillies. – PG

UPDATE, 10:32 am: Jerry Crasnick has crunched the numbers and this is what it comes down to.

Lee’s deal includes a $27.5 million option that vests if he pitches 200 innings in 2015 or a total of 400 innings over the 2014-15 seasons. If the option doesn’t vest, the deal includes a $12.5 million buyout.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems as though the five years equal out to $107.5 million with the guaranteed buyout in 2015 pushing the grand total to $120 million. The sixth year option, should it vest, would make the deal six-years, $135 million or the same as what the Yankees and Rangers offered as their base salary before options were included.

So yes, it’s a deal. However, Lee is still making plenty of bank, bro. -PG

UPDATE, 11:00 am: Crasnick tweets that he may not be leaving much on the table after all. -PG

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  • Posts: 0 jeff

    No way Andrew. They stole Oswalt. Houston is paying for him. Hamels, well we need that sick lefty on this team with Lee. I just love watching Lee work on the mound. Remember the catch in the world series. sick

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Hamels wont be moved, he doesnt make much money at all yet. Oswalt isnt moving either. That IS the top 4. Oswalt waived his no trade to come here if we picked up his option. So they would have to eat money to move him. Thats your top 4. Blanton is going to be traded. Maybe Raul. Maybe someone else in the lineup.

  • Posts: 0 ChuckS

    If you love something you have to let them go, if they come back you know it was meant to be

  • Posts: 0 jeff

    27 championships and $150 mil didnt get you Cliff Lee!!! Eat it NY!!!!

    Also for everybody going crazy about the Giants. Yes, there pitching is solid but those hitters will not repeat that again. No way.

    Jr. should now work on Zack G. LOL

  • Posts: 0 ChuckS

    5 years with an AAV of 20 mil has to be a huge slap in the nuts to New York and Texas

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    You could get alot for Hamels though
    Just saying anyway
    Great night regardless.
    Now it really does get interesting with the other moves made now

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    I probably wont even have the Giants making the playoffs in my predictions this year.
    I like colorado from out there for sure.

  • Posts: 0 Mazinman

    I think the Phillies will be alright if they can just trade Blanton although Ibanez would be a plus.

    Philly fans are always shown as being barbarians. Well, we must be some darn lovable barbarians for these players to want to come here for less.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    MLB broke in basicly reporting what weve said here

  • Posts: 0 jeff

    This is like Christmas Eve. Jr. was just very quiet at the meetings and BAM.

    Steals the prize from the NY Yankees. Just amazing. We are going to have fun watching them pitch.

  • Posts: 0 Kate



  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Is anyone not absolutely loving our front office right now…?

  • Posts: 0 jeff

    Breaking News…..

    The Phillies are holding tryouts next month in Clearwater for the 5th spot in the rotation. I think we should all tryout.

  • Posts: 0 mike

    phantastic phour?

    phour horsemen?

  • Posts: 0 pheelin' it


  • Posts: 0 pheelin' it

    Am I a year late? Wait, we have Roy Oswalt and Lee now? And Roy Halladay? King Cole is reborn? WHAT IS GOING ON!!!

    Welcome home Cliff Lee

  • Posts: 0 jeff

    Wont it be fun to see who wins the CY Young next season. Doc or Lee.

    What a year its going to be. Just put up a few runs. You have to think Jr. already has Blanton traded. He is very smart about this.

  • Posts: 0 ChuckS

    Mike I say WFC’s

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    Front office won the lottery.
    People want to come to the phillies and people hate playng for Mets and Yankees.
    Tons of pressure on this team. Its win WS or bust for sure this year.

  • Posts: 0 jeff

    remember when we said oh my wouldnt it be fun to have lee and doc. well throw in oswalt. wow.

    i guess H20 has to be revised.

  • Posts: 0 Kate

    Maybe now that pressure is (presumably) off the offense, they’ll f*cking relax and start hitting like they haven’t hit since April of 2009.

    This goes a LOOOOONG way to make up for losing Jayson Werth.

    (But can we sign Mike Sweeney’s bat, Santa Ruben? Please?)

  • Posts: 0 Kate

    My man Jay beat me to it, but it can’t be said enough.


  • Posts: 0 jeff

    if our offense just hits a little we should win alot of games. utley will be back big time. howard needs to start hitting bombs again.


  • Posts: 0 mike

    hey ChuckS….i like that better too

  • Posts: 0 mike

    wouldnt be AWESOME if ruben traded fatty joe to the yankees hahaha


  • Posts: 0 ChuckS

    Do you think my boss will understand if I don’t show up to work tomorrow?

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    I like Joe always tried hard and ate up innings ( pun intended).
    I think hed fit well with an NL west team.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    Do a shot for me ChuckS

  • Posts: 0 mike

    i want to be kyle kendrick

  • Posts: 0 jeff

    guess the mets are not looking forward to hitting against us.

  • Posts: 0 mike

    no. wait. i wanna be chooch.

    youre catching the greatest rotation in the history of baseball…


  • Posts: 0 Jeff of Nova

    not looking like the MLB is going to break in and actually talk about it just running it in the line below

  • Posts: 0 Sam

    I’m in shock complete and utter shock, fellas we are one right fielder and a younger bullpen away from a freakin dynasty. I just urinated.

  • Posts: 0 Mazinman

    Ruben Amaro has brilliantly decided to avoid the problems in the bullpen by assembling a rotation that might not need to use it… ever.

    Do we really need a January? Can’t we just skip it and go straight to February? I want my Spring Training now!

  • Posts: 0 Philly Texan

    I’m speechless.

    So Blanton gets traded? Or Oswalt? We really can’t afford to lose anyone else from the lineup.

    Can’t even really think this through I’m so stunned. Just wow!!!!

  • Posts: 0 Kate

    Thank you, Cheeseburger, for your first career homer in the 2008 World Series! I will miss your flair for making things interesting!

    Aw… MAN.

    For someone who didn’t want to hear a word about Cliff Lee this season (Cy Young Winner, perfect game, playoff no-hitter, 21 wins… that wasn’t Cliff Lee, boys and girls), I am over the moon!

    I’d like to personally thank Yankees fans for being pigs and apologize to Mrs. Lee on behalf of decent humans everywhere…

    Just when you’re not sure where we’re headed…

    WELL PLAYED, RUBEN. Well played.

    R2C2 all the way!

  • Posts: 0 therookie300

    It’s drinking time!!!

    RAJ did have a fourth ace up his sleeve after all….

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    @ Kate if we can get someone to take him.
    I guess the Phils may have to eat some of the contract.

  • Posts: 0 Kate

    Oh, I’ll be at work tomorrow and I’ll be PARTYING the whole time.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    Devils advocate even with Lee they lose the Giants series last year.

    Now heres something to think about if the 2011 Phillies hit like the 2008 phillies we are talking about all time great team.


  • Posts: 0 Bebin

    From the mouth of Suzyn Waldman – OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS…. clifton has come back home

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    Cant wait to read the headlines in the NY papers
    they were already upset
    We just dropped a bomb on them
    an A bomb for A roid

  • Posts: 0 Ted Bell

    Unless I’ve lost track, the end result is:

    The Phillies gave up:
    Carlos Carrasco
    Jason Knapp
    Lou Marson
    Jason Donald
    A 2011 first round pick (for signing Lee)

    The Phillies added:
    Cliff Lee
    Phillippe Aumont
    Tyson Gillies
    Juan Ramirez

    Of course they lost a year of Cliff Lee’s service in between all the wheeling and dealing.

    RAJ certainly makes things interesting…

    I’m Ted Bell.

  • Posts: 0 pheelin' it

    Every single time someone brought up Lee can now be forgotten. At the end of the day Ruben did this…

    Carlos Carrasco
    Jason Knapp
    Lou Marson
    Jason Donald
    Kyle Drabek
    Michael Taylor
    Travis D’Arnaud
    Johathon Villar
    J A Happ
    Anthony Gose

    Ben Francisco
    Cliff Lee
    Roy Halladay
    Roy Oswalt
    The crappy 3 prospects

    I don’t know why we let him go really still, but he’s back FOREVER.


  • Posts: 0 pheelin' it

    I went all out sorry Ted Bell

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    For reference of who to compare this rotation too
    here you go


  • Posts: 0 Ted Bell

    I guess it could also be argued that if RAJ simply kept Lee last year, he wouldn’t have had the pressing need to trade for Oswalt, and would still have J.A. Happ, Anthony Gose, and Jonathan Villar.

    I’m Ted Bell.

  • Posts: 0 pheelin' it

    I HATE that line andrew, an a bomb from a roid. I feel as cocky as the Yankees.

    Does this not make us the Yankees of the NL? No wonder they run their mouths so much it feels great!

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