This morning, we explored whether the Phillies could bring back Cliff Lee. Christian Rivera wonders, would he want to come back?
Cliff Lee was noticeably upset about his departure from the Phillies. He wanted a shot at being a world champion with a team that he felt could take him there. He did his part, but then he lost it when the Yankees ended up winning the '09 World Series (oh god I think I just threw up a little while typing that).
He got his shot — then it was ripped out of his grasp like a seagull ripping a pizza from a child's hands (one of my favorite things about going down the shore).
The trade that ultimately brought Roy Halladay to Philly, most likely left Cliff Lee with a feeling of a being dumped for a slightly more studlier/intense fella. It's never fun being dumped, and though it's a part of the business — a feeling of rejection may still linger there and may hold him back from wanting to be a Phillie.
I'm no where near certain that this is true, but it may be something to consider now that there's a glimpse of a possible return. See Can the Phillies Bring Back Cliff Lee?.
Obviously, money is another concern.
It's going to end up being a numbers game.
Numbers in terms of how the team performs while healthy (if they can stay healthy) and numbers in terms of long-term affordability. There's already major concern about keeping Jimmy Rollins and Jayson Werth for the long haul. Throwing in the long-term pickup of Cliff Lee is not going to be an easy scenario, if that's even a thought in Ruben Amaro's mind.
Chances are that it isn't, at least not yet. There are a number of factors at play here, but one big factor sticks out in the aspect of money.
Will we keep Jayson Werth and for how much?
Chances are that Ruben will exhaust every possibility to keep him and his beard in the Phillies line-up. So far this year he's been our most consistent player and has racked up RBIs even in the team's losses. According to Yahoo Sports: "Werth leads the team in hitting at .354 to go with four home runs and
18 RBIs. Perhaps more impressive, Werth has reached base safely in all
25 games this season, the longest active streak in the major leagues
and the longest by any Phillies player to start a season since 1920." Chances are he''ll be very expensive, but very much worth it.
Getting Cliff Lee back is not going to be a cake-walk. There are a lot questions that need to be answered before we even consider Cliff Lee again as an option. Who knows? Amaro may not think we need him for the price his agent might end up asking for.
If this city gets it's heart broken again by losing a World Series to some very specific answers — then Cliff Lee may be the answer.