UPDATE, 10:40 p.m. ET: The Phillies might not only be in on Cliff Lee, they seem to be seriously in.
MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki weighed in on the pursuit
, while other reports continued to stream out. Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted that the Yankees aren’t optimistic. Jack Curry of the YES Network tweeted that there’s a belief Lee will land in Philly.
The one thing to take away: Philly’s come out of nowhere, at least in terms of the public’s understanding of the negotiations, and become a real player.
H20 plus L?
Once thought to be a contest that seriously included just the Yankees and the Rangers, Cliff Lee‘s courtship now includes the Phillies, according to a report from FOXSports on Monday night.
Lee made 12 starts for the Phillies in the 2009 regular season before leading them to the World Series, where they lost to the Yankees. Lee is reportedly looking at a seven-year offer from the Yankees and a comparable deal, perhaps for six years, from the Rangers. The Phillies are making a late push, a source with knowledge of the negotiations told FOX.
Signing Lee, who will likely command at least $160 million and could receive a record contract for a pitcher, would seem difficult financially for Philadelphia. According to FOX, the Phillies would need to trade Joe Blanton and the $8.5 million he’s owed each of the next two seasons to make the move viable.
Were the Phillies to pull off the Hail Mary, it would put Roy Halladay and Lee, perhaps the two best pitchers in the game, in the same rotation, and make them the likely favorites to win the National League pennant in 2011.
– Evan Drellich