Let me just start by saying that I do not want to be writing this article.
Not just because Cliff Lee did not sign with my Rangers, but because of the way it went down. Throughout the whole process Ranger fans were led to believe Lee might stay in Texas and take (slightly) less money than what the Yankees were offering because he liked his time in Texas. In the end he takes substantially less money in order to play in a place he likes, and that place is not Texas. He did not take the money, and he did not pick us. That sucks. Now that I am done editorializing, maybe we should move on to the fantasy impact.
Ultimately, is there a significant fantasy impact of Lee going back to Philadelphia? We are talking about a guy who has posted stud-caliber numbers in four different cities over the past three years. His ERA was somewhat higher in his stops at hitter’s parks (3.39 in Philly, 3.98 in Texas), but his strikeout rate was consistently around seven to eight K/9, and his walk rate was consistently around one walk per nine innings or lower. That is not going to change wherever he pitches.
So we are talking about strikeouts and WHIP remaining relatively similar and a probable uptick in ERA which should be offset by an increased number of wins thanks to a solid Philly lineup.