Phillies Win Lee Derby; Yankees Turn To Plan B

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Cliff Lee is returning to the Philadelphia Phillies, the team that traded him nearly one year ago, leaving the New York Yankees no choice but to turn to Plan B.

1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa Talks To Fans

The free-agent pitcher reached a preliminary agreement on a $100 million, five-year contract with the Phillies on Monday night, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

The agreement is subject to the 32-year-old left-hander passing a physical, the person said on condition of anonymity because the agreement was not final.

The New York Yankees and Texas Rangers received telephone calls Monday night telling them they were out of the running, two separate people familiar with those team’s negotiations said, also on condition of anonymity.

LISTEN: WFAN’s Jon Heyman, Steve Somers talk Phillies-Lee deal

The Yankees’ Plan B scenarios start with swaying Andy Pettitte away from retirement. Pettitte arguably holds more value for the Yankees now that Lee is out of the picture, and they may have to pay the veteran lefty more than planned to convince him to return.

Kansas City Royals starter Zack Greinke holds a no-trade clause to the Yankees, but may not be a good fit. Tampa Bay’s Matt Garza and Atlanta’s Derek Lowe have been linked to trade speculation, and could be possible targets for the Yankees.

Philadelphia’s Joe Blanton is also a possibility for New York, although the Red Sox could put an end to that Tuesday. According to WFAN’s Jon Heyman, the Phillies and Red Sox are close to having a deal in place that would send Blanton to Boston.

Lee turned down longer and more lucrative offers to return to the team he helped reach the 2009 World Series after a midseason trade from Cleveland.

New York had started with a $138 million, six-year offer to Lee, the person familiar with the Yankees’ negotiations said. After outfielder Carl Crawford agreed to a seven-year, $142 million deal with the Boston Red Sox, New York immediately increased its offer to Lee to $150 million over seven seasons, the person said.

Philadelphia dealt Lee to Seattle as part of a four-team, nine-player swap on Dec. 16 last year while simultaneously acquiring Roy Halladay from Toronto and signing him to a new contract that added $60 million over three seasons. Lee will join Halladay, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, and pitch alongside Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels to form what would be considered the top rotation in the major leagues.

The Phillies have been considering trading pitcher Joe Blanton and/or outfielder Raul Ibanez to clear payroll space, a person familiar with Philadelphia’s deliberations. said. That person spoke on condition of anonymity because those talks were ongoing.

Lee had a good time during his stay with the Phillies, who acquired him from Cleveland in July 2009.

“At first, I didn’t believe it. I thought we were working out an extension with the Phillies,” Lee said the day after the trade. “I thought I’d be spending the rest of my career there. … I was under the impression they wanted to keep me there for a long time. In my mind, it was going to happen.”

A fourth-round draft pick in 2000, Lee is 102-61 with a 3.85 ERA in nine major league seasons. He has excelled in the postseason, going 7-2 with a 2.13 ERA for Philadelphia and Texas in the past two years, including 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA against the Yankees.

Lee won 18 games for Cleveland in 2005, then got hurt in spring training in 2007 and was demoted to the minors. He returned to the big leagues, finished 5-8 with a 6.29 ERA and was left off Cleveland’s postseason roster. He rebounded to go 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA in 2008 and was voted the AL Cy Young Award.

He was 14-13 for the Indians and Phillies in 2009, and 12-9 for the Seattle Mariners and Rangers this year.

With Lee’s departure, the Rangers could move closer Neftali Feliz from the bullpen to the rotation and may attempt to acquire 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke in a trade from the Kansas City Royals.

This was a rare instance in which the Yankees’ financial might failed to land a player they wanted. After losing to Texas in the AL championship series, they are seeking to add pitching to a rotation that includes CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett. New York is waiting to find out from Andy Pettitte whether he will pitch or retire; the Yankees also have promising Ivan Nova, a hard-throwing right-hander who turns 24 next month.

New York also held talks with Crawford before his agreement with the Red Sox, but never made an offer.


AP Sports Writer Rob Maaddi contributed to this report.

pixy Phillies Win Lee Derby; Yankees Turn To Plan B
  • dico j.

    Don’t worry..The Yankees will be just fine. The last thing they need on the team is a pitcher who really doesn’t want to be there. Besides, i see Randy Johnson and Kevin Brown written all over him (cliff lee).

  • Lou

    Scot stickle, do you know how to add? Lee is taking the money you moron, less years, but is still going make $24 mil a year. You’re talking like Lee is just going to make $10 mil a year. He’s now going to be the highest paid pitcher in the history of baseball sh$t for brains

  • BS Meter

    It’s the NY Mets that lose here, most of all. Their management/owners sit and talk in circles, as Adrian Gonzalez trots off the Boston? etc.

  • NCMiran

    Really, the Phillies rotation still has holes. Hamels was 12-11 and Oswalt was 13-13 last year. Plus they have no bullpen. The Red Sox rotation is aging too so who says the Yanks are done just because they missed out on Cliff Lee?

  • Scot stickle

    Who would have thought that a man spitting on a player’s wife could change the face of baseball for the next decade. Good for Lee putting his wife above his wallet.


      Come on Scot stickle…do you actually believe what you just wrote??? What happens when another Phillies fan pulls the Bulimia Act again on his wife if he should go on a 5 game losing streak….cancel the contract because of some “fine print bodily liquid clause” and go to Kansas City??

      • Scot

        Throwing snowballs at Santa was a measured response. Spitting on an innocent is classless

  • JMB

    Lee signs with Phillies, Red Sox going after Blanton and ONCE AGAIN, METS doing absolutely nothing…no, wait..I forgot, they signed Mookie Wilson as first base coach which will definately add at least 20 wins to the regular season…LOL

    METS fans should be insuslted and outraged at this current ownership. It is OBVIOUS that ownerships desire to win is not there once again this offseason!!!

  • dabooch

    Hey Sandy Alderson would you please send your lefty Oliver Perez over, we are dispatching a car to pick him up immediately signed Brian Clueless Cashman.

  • Big John

    Phillie girl Phanatic, I see you’re back, last time I checked the hitless Giants pounded the Phillies in the NLCS and the hitless Giants
    pounded the Rangers and Lee in the World Series. Aren’t you the one who predicted the Phillie girls were going to beat the Yankees in the WS, how did that work out, LOL,LOL. Predictions are nonsense and you should know that by know. Anything can happened during the season, Also remember, Phillie have no bullpen and no Werth. Halladay & Lee can’t hit in his place and cannot pitched a complete game every start. And about the Red Sox, Yankees always handle them at the end, one lucky break in ’04 is their name to fame, but Yankees are the Kings, you know that because you saw it in ’09, though I’m sure you rather forget. LOL,LOL,LOL

  • Ray

    What a KILLER rotation…LEE, HALLY, OSWALT… Hmmmmm,, watch out !!!!!!!
    sounds very familiar.



  • gmancat

    Rumor has it the Yankee money wasn’t green and the Mets are now officially Triple A team. Philly deals a double hit to NY.

  • Keith

    Classless bum like the Phillies no class

  • Keith

    The guy is a bum, He is a chameleon, he never had any intention of signing with anyone but the Sillies. They need to be investigated all of them for questionable dealings, jail for cliffy

  • dabooch

    General Lee stated from his grave, we finally beat those Yankees, it took almost One Hundred and Fifty years.

  • dabooch

    Happy to see the Steombremmer boys save a pant load! Andy Pettite, ah, Andy Please come back, how much do you want 20million. They call that LEVERAGE, the same tool Cashman used against Jeter.

  • James

    By the way, Philliy sucks. You’ve won 1 nba championship in like the last 40 years, you haven’t won the stanley cup since the 70’s, you ain’t never won a superbowl, and you have 2 worldseries rings in your entire history. The Yankees won more championships while I was in highschool.

    • You all JELLY

      James = mad.

      Did you spend 5 years in high school?

      • James

        Yankees won 3 rings the 4 years I was in HS. That’s 1 more ring than the Phillies have in their history. What is it about Philly and their dumb fans that don’t understand math. Is that why Cliff went there? He just didn’t understand the Yankees were offering more money. I guess he was meant to represent the under-educated city of Philadelphia and their fans.

  • James

    hey Philly Phanny, No question your team made out this off season. And anything I say as a Yankee fan will sound like sour grapes (which I have), so let me welcome you to our club. The club with a huge payroll, an aging rotation, and a bunch of overpriced hitters that strike out way too often. Have fun with your newfound, overwhelming expectations that come along with buying the best players.

  • Donnie Baseball

    Well, we won’t have to face him until the World Series.

    Poor Mets just went another 4 games under .500 though.

  • Philly Phanatic

    Ha Ha Yankee Fans…..stinks for you.
    Ha Ha Mets Fans…….stinks for you …Phillies doing everything to make their team better and you’ve got nothing to show for your pathetic 5 seasons.
    Go Phillies. Go Red Sox

    • Josh

      Last I checked, neither the Yanks nor Phils made it to the 2010 WS and I recall the Yanks defeating Philly in 2009. You are entitled to your opinions, but not your own facts. You seems like a typical Philly fan that talks from their rear and not their head.

    • Dean

      I think the site you’re looking for is Thanks.

      • Philly Phanatic

        No I believe this is the site I’m looking for. The Spanks were so convinced they were going to get Lee it sickening. Now its laughable. What is also laughable is that the Mets are doing absolutely nothing to improve their sorry team. As a Philly transplant living in NY I find WFAN enjoyable to listen to because of the fairweather fans. The Jets lose 2 games in a row and now people, and Joe Beningo are ready to jump off the GW bridge. Now Lee is going to Philly….classic. Comedy Central has nothing on the fickle NY Sports fans.

      • DRONAGE

        Guess I’d rather be a fickle NY Sports Fan on Comedy Central than a Drunken, Bullimic Phillies Fan on the SCI FI channel…..better ratings. Talk about pathetic, what audacity!! You should feel lucky to be a transplant living in our great city!

  • soxfan

    yankees big splash a catcher comming off hip surgert. ha

    • Josh

      The Sox are looking at Martin too. The only thing Boston did this offseason was overpay for an outfielder and then trade away “top talent” for a position player, only to not announce that you’re over-paying for him too. Boston’s not much better than the last few years when they have choked in the 2008 ALCS.

      • Brooklyn Giant

        They didn’t choke as bad as the Yankmees did in 2004….3 game to 0 lead and you lose. Thats a choke…so you have no right to complain Josh. Sounds like you’re a little upset that your team didn’t get Lee. Sour grapes man.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live