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New York Yankees Were Simply Outbid for Cliff Lee

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 01:  Cliff Lee #33 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the San Francisco Giants in Game Five of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on November 1, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Bronx Baseball DailySenior Analyst IDecember 14, 2010

After it was announced that Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies, and not the Yankees, all we heard was about the supposedly $50 million he left on the table. But now that the smoke has cleared it appears that’s not how it went down.

The Yankees were simply outbid.

The Yankees offered Lee a six-year deal worth $22 million a year plus a $16 million player option. $22M x 6 = $132M + $16M = $148M or $21M/per.

The Rangers offered Lee a six-year deal worth a total of $138 million with a lot of deferred money. Details are not 100 percent clear, but that is essentially $23M/per.

The Phillies offered Lee a five-year deal worth $120 million with an option. The $120 million includes a $12.5 million buyout so it’s technically worth $107.5 million. The option though is worth $27.5 million and if Lee is healthy should vest easily. That brings the deal to $135 million over six years. Assuming that option vests it is worth $22.5M/per. Even if the option doesn’t vest he still earns $24M/per.

Technically the Yankees offered the most guaranteed dollars and most amount of years, but because their deal was a seven-year offer it actually brings the average annual value down. Both the Phillies and the Rangers deals represented higher AAV’s.

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