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Phillies could finalize contract with Cliff Lee tomorrow

Dec 14, 2010, 9:13 PM EDT

Cliff Lee phillies throwing

UPDATE: NBC 10 in Philadelphia provides the photo evidence that Cliff Lee has arrived. And boy, do his eyes look mighty tired. Must be from staring at multiple offers of $100-plus million over the past week. Poor guy.

9:13 PM: You probably thought we were done talking about Cliff Lee, huh? Nope, not yet.

According to Jerry Crasnick of, Lee will be in Philadelphia for a physical tomorrow and his deal with the Phillies could be officially announced later in the day.

Just to bring you up to speed, Lee and the Phillies have reportedly agreed to terms on a five-year, $120 million contract. The deal includes a $27.5 million vesting option for 2016 which could bring the total value of the contract to $135 million over six years.

According to the Associated Press, Lee will make $11 million next season, $21.5 million in 2012 and $25 million from 2013-2015. There’s a $12.5 million buyout on his vesting option for 2016.

In order for the option to vest, Lee must either log 200 innings in 2015 or 400 total innings between 2014 and 2015. He also must not finish the 2015 season on the disabled list because of a left shoulder or elbow injury.

And so, while Lee turned down more guaranteed money from the Rangers and Yankees, Ken Rosenthal of writes that the southpaw’s $24 million annual average value (AAV) will be the highest ever for a pitcher on a multi-year contract.

  1. funkygoorilla - Dec 14, 2010 at 9:23 PM

    So now that Lee is a Phillie, almost officially, does that mean that if the Red Sox or Phillies win the WS then we can start saying that the Red Sox or Phillies buy their championships?

    • Jonny 5 - Dec 14, 2010 at 9:56 PM

      Yes. Yes you can. But this was possible because a good number of the Phills came from their own Farm system. Jimmy, Utley,Howard,Chooch, And Hamels are lifetime Phillies so far anyway, an awesome group of guys who had luck with smart pick ups from the front office in Werth and Victorino. The pitching was built around these guys, because now they aren’t going to be young forever.

      • The Dangerous Mabry - Dec 15, 2010 at 11:19 AM

        …this was possible because a good number of the YANKEES came from their own Farm system. JETER, BERNIE, RIVERA, PETTITE, and POSADA are lifetime YANKEES so far anyway, an awesome group of guys who ahd luck with smart pick ups from the front office in TINO and KNOBLAUCH. The pitching was built around these guys, because now they aren’t going to be young forever.

        Man…you really can just replace a few names and it sounds just like a Yankee fan circa 1999.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 15, 2010 at 1:40 PM

        Yes it does, very much.

  2. Jonny 5 - Dec 14, 2010 at 10:26 PM

    I’d rather see the option than the extra gauranteed year myself. I like the vesting requirements that favor the team if I’m the Phillies. If that’s what was required to have him back. I’ll be honest, it’s a long time imo, and I’d rather see Halladay get this deal instead. I like how it goes low for as long as Roy’s contract lasts though, so it doesn’t appear Roy got screwed. Then they can pay Roy 25 million a season too I guess. I think Lee is awesome, I just fear he may not last that long, and if he does I’ll be happily surprised. Man that’s a lot of innings isn’t it?

    Now don’t get me wrong, I’m super stoked we’re getting Cliffy back. The entire fan base in Philly is in total love with this guy, me included. And I might get locked up trying to get on the kiss cam with him. The Phillies are far from perfect right now. Yeah they have a rag tag OF besides Victorino (dude can cover 50% of the OF and is some kind of flyin’ Hawaiian from Hawaii i heard) , Sure J-Roll is scaring the heck out of me. But i think this team, with the addition of Cliff Lee is just awesome. This has truly become the team to beat, and it’s not coming easy for you on the offensive end of things when you have to face the pitching Philly has amassed. Not to mention the offensive threat if you’re lucky enough for Cliff Lee, or Roy Halladay, or Roy Oswalt, or Cole Hamels to have a bad night basically.

    • Adam - Dec 14, 2010 at 10:51 PM

      Wait, Victorino is from Hawaii?!?

      • Old Gator - Dec 15, 2010 at 12:40 AM

        Sure. Didn’t you know that “Victorino” means “Pineapple” in Samoan?

      • mtner77 - Dec 15, 2010 at 2:19 AM

        “Wait, Victorino is from Hawaii?!?”

        More precisely, Maui I beleave. And yep, he can really run.

      • Utley's Hair - Dec 15, 2010 at 1:56 PM

        As Cliff “Not Lee” Claven would say, “It’s a little known fact….”

  3. lordd99 - Dec 15, 2010 at 3:00 AM

    So basically the Phillies paid more than the Yankees and the Rangers for Lee’s services the next five years, and Lee will be the highest paid pitcher in baseball with an annual average salary of $24 million, yet this is supposed to be a “feel-good” story about a man not caring about money? I’m missing something here. Wait, it’s not me who’s missing something. It’s the media.

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