One of the biggest fish in MLB free agency was finally reeled in last night; former Texas Rangers pitcher Cliff Lee signed with the Philadelphia Phillies for five years and either $100 million or $120 million, depending on who you’re asking. This was less than than what was put up by the New York Yankees, who offered six years and $132 million, all of which was guaranteed. And the Texas Rangers were in the hunt, too, but nobody really saw that happening.
The key here, obviously, is that under the Phillies deal, he could make a lot more money in year six if things go well for him than he would have if he took the Yankees’ deal, for he will be a free agent in year six rather than be “stuck” with a $22 million one-year deal.[..]
Ultimately, then, this was less an act of selflessness on Cliff Lee‘s part — less an act of giving it up to go back to Philly — than it was a gamble on himself.
One is left to wonder whether Yankees fans’ treatment of Lee’s wife during the ALCS two months ago played a factor in his decision. At least now Lee doesn’t have to worry about playing in a major metropolitan area with a fanbase of renowned unruliness (/sarcasm) while the Yankees can amaze the world with all the money they have to spend…just like the Phillies are doing now. But who cares? At least it’s not the Yankees!