Report: Lee To Sign With Phillies
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – The Philadelphia Phillies have apparently won the Cliff Lee sweepstakes.
Philly.com reported early this morning that a source familiar with negotiations says Lee has reached a preliminary agreement on a contract with the four-time defending NL East champions. The site revealed that the deal is contingent on Lee passing a physical.
Multiple additional sources indicate the pact will be for five years and will be worth in excess of $100 million.
In taking the reported offer from the Phillies, Lee apparently turned down more money from the New York Yankees and likely the Texas Rangers. The Yankees and Rangers were the front-runners for the former Cy Young winner’s services.
New York’s reported offer was six years for $132 million with an option for a seventh season, while the Rangers had reportedly made multiple package offers.
The 32-year-old native of Arkansas went a combined 12-9 with a 3.18 earned run average in 28 starts with Seattle and Texas in 2010. He also finished with a career-best seven complete games.
Originally acquired from the Phillies by the Mariners on December 16, 2009, Lee was 8-3 on a struggling M’s squad before the Rangers picked him up on July 9.
Despite back issues which caused his record to dip to 4-6 with a 3.98 ERA in 15 starts with Texas, the left-hander was instrumental in guiding the club to the first World Series appearance in franchise history — a five-game loss to San Francisco.
Lee had also aided the Phils in their quest for a second consecutive title after his acquisition from Cleveland on July 29, 2009, going 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA and three complete games. He was the winning pitcher in both of Philadelphia’s victories in a six-game setback to the Yankees in the 2009 World Series.
The former fourth-round pick of the Montreal Expos in the 2000 draft, Lee has compiled a 102-61 record with a 3.85 ERA and 20 complete games in 222 appearances, including 218 starts, since breaking in with the Tribe in 2002.
His presence will give Philadelphia a formidable front four in the starting rotation, along with 2010 NL Cy Young winner Roy Halladay, 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels and 2010 late-season acquisition Roy Oswalt.