He’s bbbbbaaaaaccckkkkk!!!! Phils get back Cliff Lee!

In a move that came completely out of the blue, the Phils have just signed free agent Cliff Lee to a five-year, $120 million contract, with a vesting option for a sixth year, beating the New York Yankees, who had offered Lee a six-year deal worth $135 million, with a vesting option for a seventh year, and the Texas Rangers, who had offered him a six-year deal worth $138 million, and with a vesting option for a seventh season. With this move, Lee returns to Philadelphia, after having been traded by the Phils to the Seattle Mariners, almost a year ago, giving the Phils a starting rotation that now have four aces (Lee, NL Cy Young Award Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels), that will be haunting the NL, especially the NL East, for at least a year (depending on whether Hamels will be resigned after the season, and if Oswalt decides not to retire after 2012.).

Lee, in 2010, as he pitched for first the Mariners, then the Rangers, went 12-9 with an ERA of 3.18, as he started in 28 games, pitching 212.1 innings, throwing seven complete games, including a shut out, as he struck out 185 batters, while walking only eighteen during the season. In the post-season, he helped pitched the Rangers into their first World Series appearance, before falling to the 2010 World Champions San Francisco Giants, as he went 3-2 overall for the Rangers.

The Phils will more than likely have to trade someone(s) to help them better afford their move. There is already rumors flying around that they have been trying to ship off Joe Blanton and or Raul Ibanez as a salary dump, with them willing to pay for part of Blanton’s salary to move him. I do not know if any of them is true, but, if they need to move someone, it should be Kyle Kendrick, not Blanton. After all, Blanton has been a bit more consistant, pitching wise, than has Kendrick, and he would be a lot better backup to the now Big Four than might Kendrick. Whatever does happen, I hope Ruben will know what he’s doing, although there does seem to be some method to his madness.

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For those who think that Cliff Lee was all about the money….A big loud Razzleberry for you.
Fantastic backdoor romance of getting Lee to again take his show to Philly. Not surprised, but personally glad he is out of the AL for a long, long time (lol).
It was a great pick-up that only solidifies an already intimidating rotation. All you need is a strong showing from your fifth starter and you might actually get near a 110 win plateau (hopefully).
The one thing I worry about is that it puts the bullseye squarely on the Phillies backs to try and knock them off the podium.
But with those four pitchers, only the Phillies can hurt themselves in 2011.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Yeah, it most certainly wasn’t for the money, although I’m sure a lot of Philly fans would’ve been happy with him staying with the Rangers. At least he would’ve been out of the Yankees grasp.

110 wins? I’m not going to go that high. Yet! I’d be happy if they get past 101 wins at some point. And it depends on the offense rebounding from last year, which I expect, as I’m sure a lot of the players (I’m looking at you Jimmy, Chase, Ryan) will be out to prove themselves after what had happened last season.

Gee, they had a bullseye on their backs since 2007. But you are right on one thing, the only thing that can hurt the Phils is themselves. Or a team that comes out of nowhere to stop them. (The Giants don’t count, as everyone here feared meeting them in the playoffs, and boy, were they right.)

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