(Yippee! Yahoo! Woo-Hoo! Doing somersaults across room!) Cliff Lee is coming back home to the Phillies! This will give us TWO, count ’em, TWO Cy Young Award winners!
After being “slam bam thank you ma’amed” by the Phillies last year, Lee is taking less money to return because he and his family like it here! How nice that some professional sports figure realizes that you can only spend so much money and happiness is more important! Lee reportedly was stunned when the Phillies traded him last year, loved being in Philadelphia and always wanted to come back.
Lee’s deal with the Phillies is in the five-year, $120 million range, according Phillies.com, the Phillies official website. Lee turned down two offers from the Yankees, one for seven years and $150 million, the other for a guaranteed six years at $138 million, with a player option for $16 million in the seventh year, raising the offer to $154 million. Lee will have to pass a physical before the deal is sewed up. (No prob, babe, you look FINE to me!)
The Phillies’ pitching team now boasts Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay, perfect game pitcher Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels. Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino’s reaction: “We’re like, ‘Whoa’. I had heard about this mystery team. I was like, ‘There’s no way it’s us.’ Then I heard the Phillies were back in it. I texted Cliff last week and he never said anything. I texted him again today when everything started coming out. I’m like, ‘Come on.’ He finally texted me back, ‘I’m back,’ and I was like, ‘Oh my goodness.’ I thought there was no way we’re bringing him back. You hear about a deal like this and you’re kind of shocked. But this shows how much Cliff loved Philly. He turned down money to come back. That says a lot about him.”
The Phillies reportedly traded Lee in December, 2009, because they didn’t think he’d sign a contract extension. That’s when general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. traded three top prospects to the Toronto Blue Jays for pitcher Roy Halladay, and traded Lee to the Mariners for three prospects. When efforts to get Lee back in July, 2010, failed, they acquired Roy Oswalt.
Lee’s return does have a sad side, as we are losing free agent slugger Jayson Werth, who just signed with the Washington Nationals. And it’s rumored that pitcher Joe Blanton, who pitched a 10-2 win in the 4th game of the 2008 World Series, and got a home run to boot, might be traded, as well as Kyle Kendrick and Raul Ibanez.
While I hate to see these guys go, pitching has always been the Phillies’ weak point and we need to do this. I was devastated when they traded Lee away, I am equally as devastated that Werth is gone and I have a soft spot for Blanton. But if this leads us to another World Series pennant, it will be worth it.
Now, you’ll have to excuse me, it’s time for another somersault! Yippee! Yahoo! Woo-Hoo! Yippee! Yahoo! Woo-Hoo!
Sources: ABC-TV GMA; USA Today.com; Phillies.com