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. Video: Jorge Soler robbed Khris Davis of a home run

    Aug 2, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT

    Nice catch

    Note: that is not his hand or glove.

  2. Settling the Scores: Saturday’s results

    Aug 2, 2015, 8:25 AM EDT

    Cole Hamels

    Cole Hamels’ Texas debut didn’t go too well.

  3. Report: Dodgers only picking up $500,000 in acquisition of Bronson Arroyo

    Aug 1, 2015, 11:30 PM EDT

    Bronson Arroyo Bronson Arroyo

    The Dodgers aren’t paying much of Bronson Arroyo’s tab at all.

  4. Athletics designate Eric O’Flaherty for assignment

    Aug 1, 2015, 10:45 PM EDT

    Eric O'Flaherty Eric O'Flaherty

    Struggling lefty reliever Eric O’Flaherty was designated for assignment by the Athletics on Saturday.

  5. Chad Billingsley heading back to L.A. to have his elbow examined

    Aug 1, 2015, 10:05 PM EDT

    Chad Billingsley Chad Billingsley

    Chad Billingsley will meet with a doctor in L.A. He’s dealing with more elbow problems.

  6. Lucas Duda’s last eight hits have been home runs

    Aug 1, 2015, 9:33 PM EDT

    Lucas Duda Lucas Duda

    Lucas Duda doesn’t want to run the bases.

  7. Steven Souza, Jr. will go on the disabled list with a broken hand

    Aug 1, 2015, 9:02 PM EDT

    Steven Souza, Jr. Steven Souza, Jr.

    Steven Souza, Jr. was hit by a pitch and suffered a broken hand, so he’ll hit the disabled list for a spell.

  8. Rays to demote struggling lefty Matt Moore to Triple-A

    Aug 1, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT

    Matt Moore Matt Moore

    Rays lefty Matt Moore will try to fix himself in a low-pressure environment, as the Rays will demote him following Saturday’s poor start against the Red Sox.

  9. Joe Maddon: Kyle Schwarber stays when Miguel Montero returns

    Aug 1, 2015, 8:10 PM EDT

    Kyle Schwarber Kyle Schwarber

    Kyle Schwarber is staying in the big leagues when Miguel Montero returns, which is bad news for opposing pitchers.

  10. Report: Larry Lucchino stepping down as president and CEO of the Red Sox

    Aug 1, 2015, 7:19 PM EDT

    Larry Lucchino Larry Lucchino

    There’s a shakeup in the Red Sox front office, as Larry Lucchino is stepping down from his role as president and CEO.

  11. Clayton Kershaw blanks the Angels over eight innings, runs consecutive scoreless innings streak to 37

    Aug 1, 2015, 6:56 PM EDT

    Clayton Kershaw AP

    Clayton Kershaw is good at baseball, the lefty confirmed on Saturday.

  12. Phillies pitcher Matt Harrison diagnosed with hypothyroidism

    Aug 1, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT

    Matt Harrison Matt Harrison

    Matt Harrison has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. The diagnosis, he hopes, allows him to deal with his various issues, including his back problems.

  13. David Wright could begin minor league rehab assignment next week

    Aug 1, 2015, 5:29 PM EDT

    SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 2:  David Wright #5 of the New York Mets looks out from the dugout before a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park June 2, 2015 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The second-place Mets have been without Wright since mid-April.

  14. Clayton Kershaw and Mike Trout make MLB history in Saturday’s matchup

    Aug 1, 2015, 4:27 PM EDT

    ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 07: A behind the scenes photograph of Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers during a photo shoot before the game on August 7, 2014 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Matt Brown/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Saturday’s game marks the first time in MLB history that two reigning MVPs have squared off against each other.

  15. Wade Davis gives up his first home run in nearly two years

    Aug 1, 2015, 4:15 PM EDT

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN- JUNE 09: Wade Davis #17 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Minnesota Twins on June 9, 2015 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Royals defeated the Twins 2-0. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Davis hadn’t allowed a home run since August 24, 2013.

  16. Esmil Rogers signs with the Hanwha Eagles in Korea

    Aug 1, 2015, 3:26 PM EDT

    KANSAS CITY, MO - MAY 17:  Esmil Rogers #53 of the New York Yankees throws in the fifth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on May 17, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Rogers made 18 appearances with the Yankees earlier this season, but now he’s headed to the Korea Baseball Organization.

  17. Video: Ben Revere makes leaping catch in debut with Blue Jays

    Aug 1, 2015, 2:41 PM EDT

    ben revere

    The speedy outfielder has made a good first impression in his Blue Jays debut.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. C. Gomez (5449)
  2. C. Hamels (5283)
  3. T. Tulowitzki (4550)
  4. Y. Cespedes (3955)
  5. M. Trout (3841)
  1. D. Price (3581)
  2. T. Clippard (3298)
  3. T. Ross (3202)
  4. G. Parra (3139)
  5. J. Reyes (3122)