MLB Rumors: Why Cliff Lee Belongs in the NL When He Signs Long-Term Deal

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MLB Rumors: Why Cliff Lee Belongs in the NL When He Signs Long-Term Deal
J. Meric/Getty Images

It's probably fair to say Cliff Lee struggled down the stretch in 2010. While his bloated ERA and sub-.500 winning percentage with Texas were certainly not all his fault, his Cy Young season quickly evaporated in the Texas heat after a mid-season trade landed him in Arlington. Yet here we are in October, and Cliff Lee is again dominating hitters like few in post-season history.

Tuesday night, for the fourth time in seven October starts, Cliff Lee went 7+ innings, struck out 10+ batters, and didn't surrender a walk. In the 2,545 post-season games not started by Cliff Lee, this has occurred exactly three times. Translation: Cliff Lee is a pretty good pitcher.

Assuming Lee's dominance continues - and remembering how much a good playoff run can pad a contract - Lee is likely looking at a massive deal this winter. The obvious candidate for Lee's services is the New York Yankees, and with Texas' new TV contract, they too might have a shot.

But if Lee can secure an offer remotely close to what he'd be getting in New York or Arlington with a National League team, should Lee think twice? Maybe.

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