In the end, Cliff Lee proved he wasn't about money. Instead, he went where the rings are likely to be: Philly.
Late Monday night, Lee agreed in principle to a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies that will span five years at a $100 million dollars, as opposed to offers from both the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers that would have provided Lee with more money and years, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick confirmed.
As it stands, Lee will join a rotation that features Cy Young winner Roy Halladay, as well as former Cy Young brethren Roy Oswalt and World Series MVP Cole Hamels.
Perhaps now, the only trio to rival that of the Phillies is that of the World Series champion San Francisco Giants, who feature Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner.
The move to Philly likely catches all of baseball off guard, as most experts and journalists had the 32 year-old lefty getting fitted for pinstripes since the final out of the World Series.
In the end, though, it came down to what felt right for Lee, who had essentially been a hired-gun since departing from Cleveland two years ago. Both Lee and his wife felt that Philly was the right place to be, and given the current state of the ball club, its should really come as no surprise.
Baseball fans will have to wait and see how the Lee deal turns out—Lee does have a history of back problems—but as it stands, isn't it tough to not pencil in the 2010-11 Phillies as the No. 1 contender?
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