• Will Cliff Lee Win 100 Games Over The Next Seven Years?

    Posted by on December 13th, 2010 · Comments (15)

    Well, if he doesn’t, there’s no way he’s worth the money the Yankees are offering him to pitch for them from 2011 through 2017. But, that’s my opinion.

    What do you think? What would Lee have to provide the Yankees in order to earn what they are offering him?

    Comments on Will Cliff Lee Win 100 Games Over The Next Seven Years?

    1. MJ Recanati
      December 13th, 2010 | 12:20 pm

      Steve, you’re badly regressing here. When I first started following WW.com back in October 2005, you would talk about Lee’s RCAA stat and other saber-topics.

      Now you’re talking about pitcher’s wins? What do wins have to do with it?

      If Cliff Lee posts annual WAR totals north of 5 for a few seasons, he’ll be providing the value it takes to justify his annual salary.

    2. Corey Italiano
      December 13th, 2010 | 1:07 pm

      This is all a set up to cast A-Rod like aspersions on Lee if he signs.

      Part of me hopes he doesn’t sign so we don’t have to read this amongst our A-Rod hate posts.

    3. December 13th, 2010 | 1:30 pm

      Factoring in age, injury, etc., you’d want to see Lee make 200 starts over the next 7 years, if you sign him to a 7-year deal. And, if he pitches well on a consistent basis, which you would expect, for the dollars mentioned, he should win 100 games.

      Esp. with an offense behind him like the Yankees usually carry.

      What’s so caveman thinking or being a hater about that?

    4. MJ Recanati
      December 13th, 2010 | 1:56 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      It’s just a very simplistic way to look at things.

      If he wins 14 games/season over seven years (98 wins), will you feel let down?

      Why tie your expectations or your analysis to something as arbitrary as wins?

    5. MJ Recanati
      December 13th, 2010 | 1:57 pm

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      This is all a set up to cast A-Rod like aspersions on Lee if he signs.Part of me hopes he doesn’t sign so we don’t have to read this amongst our A-Rod hate posts.

      Yeah, I’m getting that impression too. It started with the bogus comparison to Mark Buehrle.

      I definitely do want him to sign, however. I’m willing to put up with (and argue against) any BS arguments I might come across because I’d rather have Lee on my side.

    6. December 13th, 2010 | 2:09 pm

      The only haters here are you guys. And, it’s aimed at me.

    7. MJ Recanati
      December 13th, 2010 | 2:28 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      The only haters here are you guys. And, it’s aimed at me.

      ???

      First, who hated on you?

      Second, it’s preposterous for you to paint yourself as the victim here. I won’t take the bait but, boy, you are just in complete denial if you think you haven’t done a fair bit of “hating” on your favorite whipping boys over the years.

    8. GDH
      December 13th, 2010 | 2:38 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      You’re not hated dude. But sometimes you do like to hedge your bet, so that you can have both sides of the argument based on different outcomes. I guess it’s somewhat natural, but it’s pretty transparent. Just cause you’re called on something doesn’t mean you’re hated.

      In Steve’s defense, wins as a measure are less misleading with the Yanks, since they provide more run support than most teams, no? I would guess, barring injuries, he’s definitely good for 15-20 wins per season with the Yanks.

      I have issues with Lee, but not about his pitching. It would be worth a lot of that salary just to see Girardi pitch the guy on 3 days rest – preferably against the friggin Pirates or something. And I’m still pissed about that flip ass catch he made on a pop up during the WS.

      But I don’t question that if you’re going to throw down for a guy, Lee is worth the gamble, especially to have two guys like Lee/Sabathia at the top of the rotation.

    9. MJ Recanati
      December 13th, 2010 | 3:05 pm

      GDH wrote:

      wins as a measure are less misleading with the Yanks, since they provide more run support than most teams, no? I would guess, barring injuries, he’s definitely good for 15-20 wins per season with the Yanks.

      Perhaps, but Andy Pettitte has averaged 33 starts per year in the three healthy years he’s had since he came back from Houston (2007-2009). In that time, he’s averaged 14 wins per season. As I stated in my comment earlier, if Lee “only” averages 14 wins per season over seven years, that’s less than the arbitrary 100 win threshold that Steve put up in his column.

      Wins are unpredictable. The Yankees could give Lee no run support. The bullpen could blow all of his games. He could be the best pitcher in Yankees history for three seasons and miss a fourth due to injury before coming back and being very good again and thus miss a chance to earn some of those theoretical 100 wins.

      The point is that wins are a terrible measurable for pitchers. If we’re going to judge Lee’s time in New York by the number of wins he gets, we’re looking at the question all wrong.

    10. Corey Italiano
      December 13th, 2010 | 3:15 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      To be fair, Andy and Lee are not nearly making the same amount of money in terms of dollars or time. (time = money).

      but I see your point.

    11. Evan3457
      December 13th, 2010 | 3:28 pm

      …and if Lee only wins 70 games, suffers a career-ending shoulder injury, but helps the Yanks win 2 or 3 titles before he does, is he STILL not worth the money?

    12. MJ Recanati
      December 13th, 2010 | 3:44 pm

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      To be fair, Andy and Lee are not nearly making the same amount of money in terms of dollars or time. (time = money).but I see your point.

      The point isn’t about time or money. It’s simply that assuming the quality of the Yankees offense and its effect on wins doesn’t actually hold true. Therefore, setting a wins threshold is the quickest way to get disappointed.

      I know you got my meaning, I just want to be clear that I’m responding to the idea that the Yankees should expect “X” wins from Lee in a given year. You can never predict the number of wins a pitcher will earn in a season because there are so many other factors going on.

    13. GDH
      December 13th, 2010 | 5:35 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      You can never predict the number of wins a pitcher will earn in a season because there are so many other factors going on.

      Point taken. That said, could you use ERA? I would be happy with a low 3 ERA from any pitcher throwing in the AL East over an extended time. (This is one of the reasons Moose was so undervalued. He was, over his career, a very consistently good arm. At the time, we paid a fortune for him). And these days, with Toronto, Boston, Tampa all putting up runs, the AL East is even more dangerous to ERA. I’m tempted to knock on wood and say that any pitcher who holds opponents to 3 runs a game gives the Yankees a great chance to win that game.

    14. December 13th, 2010 | 6:53 pm

      I dont care one bit abbot his “wins” total.

      I will be surprised if he has 100 RSAA over the next 7 years.

    15. Evan3457
      December 13th, 2010 | 8:39 pm

      Lee Sinins wrote:

      I dont care one bit abbot his “wins” total.
      I will be surprised if he has 100 RSAA over the next 7 years.

      He might get to 100+ RSAA over the next 3 years…and then lose some back over the following 4, especially the last 2.

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