Via Tyler Kepner –
Nobody wants to be unemployed around the holidays, but Clifton Phifer Lee of Little Rock, Ark., does not seem to mind. The Yankees, the Texas Rangers and, now, the Philadelphia Phillies are eagerly awaiting Lee’s decision on where to continue his career, at $20 million or more per season.
“They have not made any decision,” Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said Monday night. “Same as yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that. He’s evaluating all his opportunities, whatever they are.”
The latest opportunity is probably what is taking Lee so long. The presence of the Phillies — his team at the end of 2009 — was especially troubling to the Yankees.
Privately, the Yankees were growing pessimistic as the night went on, believing that Lee might really be headed to Philadelphia for fewer years and less money.
The Phillies’ policy is never to guarantee a pitcher more than three years in a new contract — not even Roy Halladay, who signed a three-year, $60 million extension after his trade from Toronto last December. But Lee loved his time in Philadelphia, and the Phillies, who have already shed the contract of Jayson Werth, could lose more payroll by dealing starter Joe Blanton.
Give credit to Jon Heyman for sharing days ago that there was a “mystery team” in the hunt for Cliff Lee – along with the Yankees and Rangers. And, give credit to Joel Sherman for being the first – as far as I know – to bring the Phillies up, earlier today. And, all those bloggers, twitters, and other sundry internet comment leavers who scoffed at Heyman and/or Sherman should all now stand up and admit that their desire to ride in the front car of the snarky train now has them looking pretty darn stupid at this junction.