The Phillies have swooped in and signed 32-year old lefty starting pitcher Cliff Lee to a 5-year, $107.5 million dollar deal with a very reachable vesting option for a 6th season valued at $27.5 million bucks with a $12.5 million dollar buyout. His option vests if he pitches either 200 innings in 2014 or at least 400 innings in 2014+2015 combined. Last season, Lee pitched in 28 games (all starts) for the Mariners & Rangers and he was 12-9 with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. He only walked 18 batters in 212 1/3 innings last season which is mind blowing. Lee has now pitched in 222 games (218 starts) in his first 9 years in the majors and he is 102-61 with a 3.85 ERA and a 1.26 ERA during the regular season. He has also pitched in 10 games (all starts) in the post season in his career and he is 7-2 with a 2.13 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP.
Lee said that he and his wife loved their time in Philly in 2009 and that played a big reason why they chose to return. Lee pitched in 12 games (all starts) during the regular season for the Phillies in 2009 and he was 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. Lee also pitched in 5 games (all starts) in the post season for the Phillies in 2009 and he was 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP.
The Phillies now have the best rotation in major league baseball without a doubt. Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels will be the top four going into the 2011 season. The Phillies are trying to trade Joe Blanton to free up some money, but he would be a great #5 starter if they can find a way to keep him.