SI's Jon Heyman was all over the story. He said, "hearing [Lee] wanted to be on Phillies so badly, he initated a lot of the talks."
Our source confirmed this via email and provided more insight:
The Cliff Lee wife story is true. She absolutely did not want to go to New York, and she did not want to stay in Texas because all of Lee's relatives were coming to his games. That was getting old very quickly for her.
Apparently, Lee himself called Amaro Jr. on Saturday to ask what the Phillies best offer would be. They were five million apart and Amaro Jr. said he couldn't do it. He called Lee back on Sunday to say that he wasn't going to lose him over five million.
They are happy because they can get a house down at the Jersey shore for Kristen and the kids to stay in, and they like that they are only a short train ride from other big cities.
To confirm, the source provided details as to the specific connection with the Lees.
Nothing completely new, but it's apparent that Cliff Lee (and his wife) really wanted to come back here.