Lee returns to Philadelphia
Free-agent pitcher Cliff Lee is headed back to Philadelphia.
The Rangers worked as hard as they could to re-sign Lee, but their pursuit came to an end on Monday when he informed the club that he was signing with the Phillies. Lee apparently took less years and less money to re-sign with the Phillies. Lee agreed to a five-year deal with a vesting option for a sixth season that could bring the total to $120 million.
“Cliff called me,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said late Monday night. “He was very classy. He was very appreciative of the time he was here and how he was treated. He and his family enjoyed his time here. He also enjoyed his time in Philadelphia and liked some of the things that opportunity had to offer.”
The Rangers and the Yankees had been considered the front-runners to sign Lee, but the Phillies have pushed hard since the Winter Meetings and won the pursuit. Lee pitched for the Phillies for the final two months of the 2009 season and, as he did with the Rangers this past season, helped them reach the World Series.
The Phillies traded him to the Mariners last winter. The Rangers acquired him from the Mariners on July 9.