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. Important: There will be a Meeting of the Mookies this afternoon

    Aug 29, 2015, 1:13 PM EDT

    NEW YORK - OCTOBER 04:  Mookie Wilson formerly of the New York Mets waves to the fans before throwing out the first pitch for a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game one of the National League Division Series at Shea Stadium on October 4, 2006 in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Mookie Betts and Mookie Wilson will meet Saturday afternoon at Citi Field.

  2. Terry Francona says he won’t use opt-out clause with Indians for “leverage”

    Aug 29, 2015, 12:32 PM EDT

    BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 19:  Terry Francona #17 of the Cleveland Indians reacts during batting practice before a game with the Boston Red Sox on August 19, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Indians manager Terry Francona has the ability to opt out of his contract if team president Mark Shapiro or general manager Chris Antonetti were to leave the organization.

  3. Out since May with concussion symptoms, Justin Morneau begins minor league rehab assignment

    Aug 29, 2015, 11:36 AM EDT

    Injured Colorado Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau, left, talks with teammate Carlos Gonzalez who he heads to the plate to face the San Diego Padres in the fourth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015, in Denver. The Rockies won 5-0. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) AP

    Morneau has been out since May 13 with a concussion symptoms and a cervical neck strain.

  4. Video: Catwalk at Tropicana Field leaves Kevin Kiermaier hanging

    Aug 29, 2015, 10:45 AM EDT

    kiermaier

    The catwalk at Tropicana Field strikes again. After it robbed Twins rookie Miguel Sano of a home run on Thursday night, it fooled Rays outfield Kevin Kiermaier on this two-run homer from Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales last night.

  5. Mark Teixeira says he’s having “serious pain” when he tries to run

    Aug 29, 2015, 10:06 AM EDT

    on August 9, 2015 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Getty Images

    Teixeira fouled a ball of his right leg on August 17 and hasn’t seen much in the way of improvement.

  6. Video: Jonny Gomes pitched for the Braves last night

    Aug 29, 2015, 9:35 AM EDT

    Atlanta Braves outfielder Jonny Gomes, who was pitching in relief, tips his cap as New York Yankees' Chris Young rounds the bases after a solo home run in the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) AP

    With the Braves getting blown out by the Yankees last night, outfielder Jonny Gomes got an opportunity to pitch the top of the ninth inning. As you might expect, it was pretty entertaining.

  7. Settling the Score: Friday’s results

    Aug 29, 2015, 8:55 AM EDT

    Texas Rangers' Elvis Andrus, left, dunks Cole Hamels, right, as Hamels participates in a post game interview after their 4-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles in a baseball game Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers won 4-1. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) AP

    A quick recap from a busy Friday around MLB, including a dominant outing from Cole Hamels.

  8. Ike Davis expected to be ready for spring training

    Aug 28, 2015, 11:40 PM EDT

    Ike Davis Ike Davis

    Ike Davis recently underwent hip surgery, but is expected to be ready to participate in spring training next year.

  9. Yankees outright Chris Capuano to Triple-A

    Aug 28, 2015, 11:05 PM EDT

    Chris Capuano Chris Capuano

    Chris Capuano has had an interesting season. In particular, he’s had a busy August.

  10. Vin Scully will return in 2016 for his 67th season of broadcasting

    Aug 28, 2015, 10:37 PM EDT

    scully ap AP

    Baseball fans rejoice: Vin Scully will return to call Dodgers games in 2016.

  11. Phillies could keep GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. beyond 2015

    Aug 28, 2015, 10:15 PM EDT

    Ruben Amaro Jr. Ruben Amaro Jr.

    Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr.’s contract expires after the season. There’s a chance the Phillies decide to bring him back for the 2016 season.

  12. Blue Jays claim Danny Dorn off waivers from the Diamondbacks

    Aug 28, 2015, 9:42 PM EDT

    Danny Dorn Getty Images

    The Blue Jays added some depth on Friday, claiming 1B/OF Danny Dorn off waivers from the Diamondbacks.

  13. The Nationals will re-issue a Jayson Werth bobblehead celebrating Game 4 of the 2012 NLDS

    Aug 28, 2015, 9:25 PM EDT

    Jayson Werth Jayson Werth

    The Nationals weren’t happy with how the Jayson Werth bobblehead looked, so they’ll have a new one made and give it away to fans during the off-season.

  14. Giants place Matt Cain on the disabled list, tab Chris Heston to start Sunday

    Aug 28, 2015, 8:35 PM EDT

    Chris Heston Chris Heston

    Chris Heston will return to the Giants’ rotation to replace the injured Matt Cain on Sunday.

  15. Dodgers place Yasiel Puig on the disabled list, recall Jose Peraza

    Aug 28, 2015, 7:45 PM EDT

    Yasiel Puig Getty Images

    Yasiel Puig is back on the disabled list with his second hamstring strain this season.

  16. The Athletics have a travel-heavy 2016 schedule and unsuccessfully tried to have it altered

    Aug 28, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT

    Oakland Athletics Oakland Athletics

    AL West teams, including the Athletics, get the short end of the scheduling stick again in 2016.

  17. Craig Kimbrel claimed on waivers by unknown team

    Aug 28, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT

    Craig Kimbrel Craig Kimbrel

    An unknown team claimed Padres closer Craig Kimbrel on revocable waivers.

  18. Red Sox shut down Clay Buchholz for the season

    Aug 28, 2015, 5:18 PM EDT

    Clay Buchholz AP

    Will the Red Sox exercise his $13 million option for 2016?

  19. Thinking a ballplayer is hot does not make someone less of a fan

    Aug 28, 2015, 2:20 PM EDT

    Giancarlo Stanton nude

    An important manifesto from a woman who is both a serious baseball fan and who does not deny the bleeding obvious.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. D. Wright (2900)
  2. D. Span (2472)
  3. G. Stanton (2383)
  4. J. Fernandez (2377)
  5. G. Springer (2296)
  1. Y. Puig (2193)
  2. F. Rodney (2179)
  3. M. Teixeira (2110)
  4. G. Perkins (2028)
  5. H. Olivera (1888)