You know, it’s crazy to think that this is the last year of Cliff Lee’s five-year, $120 million deal with the Phillies. It seems like just yesterday foolhardy bloggers were uncritically extolling the virtues of the signing with ridiculous Photoshops. Even wilder, is that the Phillies were competitive for only one year of Lee’s five-year deal– 2011. By mid-2012, they hit their stride – more like their constant revolution rate – in their tumbling decline.
Now Lee is hurt. By holding on to the pissed steed longer than he perhaps should have, Ruben Amaro let Lee’s trade value plummet to the depths of nothingness. And now Lee, who’s ostensibly doing some sort of rehab program in Arkansas, might just retire anyway.
Cliff Lee’s season is over. While he is said to feel better than at any time in the year, it wouldn’t make sense for him to start getting ready now with a small chance to return as a reliever for baseball’s worst team. There’s an outside chance he could try to throw in the winter in hopes of staging a comeback, but people close to him believe it’s also very likely he may just hang ’em up. In 2009, Lee nearly single-handedly kept the Phillies afloat in their World Series loss to the Yankees. He won the AL Cy Young in 2008 while with the Indians.
It wasn’t that long ago Heyman was writing about the mystery team. Now the Phils might be just the last team of retiring free agent Cliton Phifer Lee. Sad.