Tuesday, December 8, 2015

"ZOMG We Need To Sign Cliff Lee!" That Sounds Familiar

News broke this week that former Texas Rangers and Philadelphia Phillies left-handed pitcher Cliff Lee intends to pitch in 2016 after missing much of the last couple of seasons with arm injuries. Everyone is now losing their mind asking the Yankees organization to sign Cliff Lee for the 2016 season and finally right a wrong while allowing Brian Cashman to finally "get his guy." This sounds awfully familiar.

Lee missed much of the 2014 season with a strained flexor strain in his left elbow and then suffered a torn flexor in that same elbow during the 2015 season. Lee is now 37-years old and has been cleared by doctor's to continue throwing and has started a throwing program. Lee will pitch in 2016 if he can "find a good fit" and will likely sign a minor league deal. Jon Heyman is credited with the report, which sounds a lot like THIS report from myself here on TGP on November 7th.

In the article I state:

The Philadelphia Phillies, as expected, declined their team option worth $27.5 million for the 2016 season on Cliff Lee and will instead pay him $12.5 million to buyout his contract and hit free agency. Lee missed the entire 2015 regular season and the left-hander has been limited to just 13 starts over the past two seasons due to reoccurring pain in the flexor tendon in his elbow but there is no such thing as a bad minor league deal. Should that deal come from the New York Yankees?

The Yankees have plenty of names that can be listed as pitching depth as we head into the 2016 season but does New York have enough real depth in case of an injury? The problem with the Yankees rotation entering the 2015 season will be the same problem and questions that the team faces in 2016. Will CC Sabathia’s knee hold up, Michael Pineda’s shoulder, Masahiro Tanaka and Nathan Eovaldi’s elbow, Luis Severino’s innings and Ivan Nova’s Tommy John surgery and struggles with his command and efficiency. Lee would not fix any of those question marks but he would add to a list of minor league options that is looking seriously deficient at the moment with just Bryan Mitchell and Rookie Davis as suitable options for the rotation aside from Adam Warren.

The Yankees usually sign one or two reclamation projects every season and hand out one or two minor league deals to veterans, see Andrew Bailey, Jared Burton and Kyle Davies as recent examples of this, and Lee could be the latest example of that. Obviously this all hinges on Lee’s willingness to come to New York, he and his wife were weary of it once before already during his career, and Lee’s health and the health of his elbow. If Lee is willing and Mother Nature is willing to cooperate then Lee makes the most sense for a minor league deal for the team this offseason.

Come on Mother Nature…. Help the Yankees out for once.
There are more examples but I won't get any credit for anything anyway, so whatever. Ask Joel Sherman.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)