Cliff Lee Signs With Phillies Instead Of Yankees and Rangers

Anthony LifrieriContributor IDecember 14, 2010

The Phillies have signed Cliff Lee to a five-year deal worth $100 million.  Lee took significantly less money from the Phillies than what the Yankees, Phillies and Nationals offered him. 

The Yankees’ offer was the highest, and was $60 million more than what Lee agreed to with Philadelphia.  This signing has gigantic ramifications on the entire league.

By signing with Philadelphia, Lee reunites with his teammates from his 2008 pennant run.  He also helps form possibly the greatest rotation ever assembled with Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels.  This rotation is so absurdly deep that it makes the Miami Heat’s maneuvering look like child’s play.  The Phillies rotation, along with their potent offense, makes them the absolute No. 1 contender to win the World Series in 2011.  

The Texas Rangers lost out on their ace that made them legitimate contenders in 2010.  It’s a major setback that will force them to trade for the likes of Zack Greinke, Matt Garza and Francisco Liriano.  They need at least one of these pitchers to contend next year.

The biggest losers in the wake of the Lee signing are the New York Yankees.  Yankees GM Brian Cashman’s wait-and-see approach failed him this season as it worked in 2008.  He dropped the ball on Carl Crawford, allowing him to go to the Red Sox, their arch-rival. 

Losing out on Lee puts a substantial amount of egg on Yankees’ faces.  They too must look to trade for the aforementioned pitchers, and somehow convince Andy Pettitte to return.

With Lee singing with the Phillies, the 2011 baseball season is officially over before it ever begins.  This rotation spells doomsday for any opposition in a short or long series, and will also dominate the regular season. 

If these four starters can remain healthy the entire year, the 1998 Yankees record of 125 wins seems like an afterthought for the Phillies, along with a World Series title.  Armageddon begins for Major League Baseball on April Fool’s Day, when the Four Horseman (Lee, Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt) ride.

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