Numerous reports are stating that star LHP Cliff Lee has told the Texas Rangers he will not return, and has instead opted to sign a five-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. The reports are as of yet unconfirmed, but widely speculated.
The move comes as a shocker, as the Phillies were discovered to be the “mystery team” said to be involved in the Lee bidding just on Monday. Lee, who spent the latter-half of 2009 in Philadelphia, joins a staff stacked with NL Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels.
It is unknown how the Phillies will make room to pay for Lee, though SP Joe Blanton has been named in trade talks. It is expected that by taking the deal, Lee will forfeit up to $50 million on the table from New York (who offered him up to seven-years worth $160 million).
Lee went 12-9 last season for the Mariners and Rangers, and helped them reach their first ever World Series.
Cliff’s deal with Philly is reportedly five-years with a vesting option, totaling around $100 million.
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