Friday, January 22, 2016

Cliff Lee Gets More Specific on the “Perfect Fit”

Earlier this winter a team of doctors cleared former Philadelphia Phillies left-handed starting pitcher Cliff Lee to pitch again in the Major Leagues after a pair of scary elbow and arm injuries in 2014 and 2015. Lee was bought out of his contract with the Phillies and allowed to hit free agency at 37-years old leaving many to wonder if he would simply retire rather than give it another go. Lee responded to these rumors and speculations by saying that he would have to have the “perfect fit” to come back to the Major Leagues in 2016 and if he didn’t find it he would be content with simply riding off into the sunset with his family into retirement. There hasn’t been much Cliff Lee chatter since but this week Lee got a little more specific on just what the “perfect fit” is for him and his family.

Lee, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, wants to pitch for a contender in 2016. Lee is also said to be asking for a high base salary despite his health questions rather than a smaller deal with incentives written into the contract like many pitchers at this stage would sign after not pitching in a MLB game since August of 2014. Many teams have shown interest in Lee including the New York Yankees, the Houston Astros, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Baltimore Orioles, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Texas Rangers and the Kansas City Royals but all teams involved are worried about his readiness to pitch again at the big league level.

The high base salary may scare off the Yankees and their owner Hal Steinbrenner but New York is one of the few teams that intends on competing in 2016 while also having the flexibility both on the roster and fiscally to take such a chance on Lee. I’m not sure the same can be said for teams like the Pirates, Orioles, Blue Jays and Royals after the way this winter has gone down and the way most of these teams have thrown money around already this offseason.

Sure there are rumors that Lee is not comfortable pitching in New York, he already once turned down a seven year deal worth $148 million from Yankees GM Brian Cashman, and sure there are reports that his wife Kristen was not happy with the Yankees fans but it could still happen. It especially could still happen if not too many teams come knocking on Lee’s door as we inch closer to spring training. You have to have a short memory as a pitcher, hopefully that extends both on the field and off the field for the Yankees and Lee so they can come to a mutual agreement. 

1 comment:

    The Yankees some how get the Cliff Lee deal done. Great.

    The Yankees placate the bomb thrower, Kristen Lee, by promising to
    give her an even better seat, behind home plate. Great.

    As luck would have it, the great seat is right next to Hans.
    Hans, with his white socks, who smells.......
    like a Jersey chemical waste dump.


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