Skip to content

Cliff Lee plans to retire once his contract with the Phillies is up

Sep 28, 2013, 6:05 PM EDT

Phillies' Lee reacts during Game 2 of their MLB National League Divisional Series baseball playoffs against the Cardinals in Philadelphia

Phillies starter Cliff Lee was the tough-luck loser last night against the Braves. The lefty allowed just one run — an eighth-inning Chris Johnson solo home run — in eight innings while striking out 13 and walking none. It was part of an historically-great month of September and an overall productive season in Phillies red pinstripes.

For all his personal success, however, he hasn’t had much of an opportunity to win a championship. After signing a five-year deal with the Phillies after the 2010 season, he pitched in the 2011 NLDS against the Cardinals, but the Phillies were ousted in five games. That was the last time the Phillies were post-season contenders, and it seems like that may be the case through the remainder of Lee’s contract. Lee is owed $25 million in each of 2014 and 2015, and he has a 2016 option for $27.5 million which vests based on playing time and health.

Per CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury, it sounds like Lee might call it quits once his contract is up, either after 2015 or ’16:

“I’m getting up there in age. I’m 35 years old now and when this contract’s over I plan on going home, so I’m running out of opportunities. All I can control is what I can control, and I’m going to do everything I can to help us win. That’s all I know how to do.”

[…]

“Right now, I don’t [see myself pitching beyond this contract],” Lee said. “There are a lot of things that can happen between now and then, but I just know that my kids are 12 and 10 and I’ve basically missed the first half of their lives.

“I’m financially able to shut it down, so … that’s how I feel right now. But when the time comes I might look at it differently.”

Lee ends his 2013 season 14-8 with a 2.87 ERA, leading the league with a 6.9 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a walk rate of 1.3 per nine innings. Since the start of the 2011 season, he has a 2.87 ERA, the third-best among pitchers who have logged at least 500 innings over the last three seasons. He has certainly performed well enough to merit his salary.

Latest Posts
  1. Justin Verlander threw four simulated innings on Tuesday

    May 26, 2015, 11:27 PM EDT

    justin verlander getty Getty Images

    Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander took what might be the final step before a rehab assignment Tuesday afternoon at Oakland’s O.Co Coliseum …

  2. Jean Segura to return from fractured pinkie on Friday

    May 26, 2015, 10:32 PM EDT

    jean segura getty Getty Images

    Brewers shortstop Jean Segura appeared to be in for an extended absence when he landed on the disabled list May 14 with a fracture in the pinkie on his throwing hand …

  3. So that Juan Uribe trade to the Braves is back on …

    May 26, 2015, 9:56 PM EDT

    uribe getty Getty Images

    FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says the trade is done and is only awaiting approval from the commissioner’s office.

  4. Video: Hunter Pence hit a laser beam homer in Milwaukee

    May 26, 2015, 9:45 PM EDT

    hunter pence getty Getty Images

    Check out this laser shot that Hunter Pence crushed Tuesday night at Milwaukee’s Miller Park …

  5. Video: Josh Harrison recovers to make a sweet grab

    May 26, 2015, 8:13 PM EDT

    josh harrison getty Getty Images

    This wasn’t really a great catch by Josh Harrison because he bungled the route, but it did look cool …

  6. Ruben Amaro apologizes for comments about fans, admits he may have been late on rebuild

    May 26, 2015, 7:49 PM EDT

    amaro getty Getty Images

    Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com Monday that he is tired of fans who “bitch and complain” about the moves made by his front office. He went on an apology tour for those comments Tuesday …

  7. Matt Harvey fine to start Friday night against the Marlins after reports of “dead arm” problem

    May 26, 2015, 7:00 PM EDT

    matt harvey getty Getty Images

    Mets ace Matt Harvey had the worst start of his young major league career on Saturday against the Pirates, surrendering seven runs in four innings, and manager Terry Collins indicated a few days later that Harvey is fighting through a period of “dead arm.”

  8. Brandon Phillips reaggravated his turf toe

    May 26, 2015, 6:12 PM EDT

    brandon phillips getty Getty Images

    Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips missed back-to-back games earlier this month after being diagnosed with a painful case of turf toe in his left foot, and now the problem has resurfaced.

  9. Jonathan Lucroy expected to rejoin the Brewers on Monday

    May 26, 2015, 5:18 PM EDT

    Jonathan Lucroy Getty Getty Images

    Lucroy finished fourth in the MVP voting last season.

  10. Charter Communications to offer Dodgers broadcasts to its customers in Southern California

    May 26, 2015, 4:55 PM EDT

    dodgers logo

    Charter Communications customers in Glendale, Burbank, Malibu and Long Beach will be getting the Dodgers’ network within the next few weeks.

  11. Casey McGehee accepts Giants’ demotion to Triple-A

    May 26, 2015, 4:37 PM EDT

    casey mcgehee getty Getty Images

    McGehee and his $4.8 million salary predictably cleared waivers.

  12. Royals lead the way in the first round of American League All-Star balloting

    May 26, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT

    All-Star Logo

    Five starting positions out of nine slots currently belong to Royals players.

  13. Johnny Cueto’s MRI comes back clean

    May 26, 2015, 2:30 PM EDT

    Johnny Cueto Getty Images

    Good news for the Reds’ biggest trade chit — er, I mean, for their ace.

  14. Video: Suuuuure, pitchers use foreign substances because they just want a better grip

    May 26, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    will smith substance arm

    In other news, why do we take pitchers at their word when they claim that they’re not really trying to get something extra on the ball?

  15. Finger sprain sends Michael Morse to Marlins’ disabled list

    May 26, 2015, 1:48 PM EDT

    Michael Morse Marlins Getty Images

    Signed to a two-year, $16 million deal this offseason, Morse has hit just .211 with two homers and a .557 OPS in 37 games.

  16. Orioles prospect Dylan Bundy has more arm problems

    May 26, 2015, 1:28 PM EDT

    dylan bundy orioles getty Getty Images

    Bundy was scratched from his scheduled start at Double-A.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Hamilton (3441)
  2. A. Pujols (3225)
  3. J. Lucroy (3173)
  4. Y. Puig (2991)
  5. D. Wright (2950)
  1. D. Travis (2923)
  2. B. Harper (2580)
  3. R. Castillo (2574)
  4. C. Crisp (2394)
  5. B. Zobrist (2394)