Even though I’m the Braves writer here, I have to speak up. This Cliff Lee stuff is getting out of control.
Does a guy who can throw a baseball really merit $161 million dollars? Well, of course not. But that’s not my argument… that’s a different article altogether. The baseball market these days involves high dollar contracts… like really high dollar contracts, and that’s just the way it is. The question is – in today’s baseball market and age, does Cliff Lee really deserve a 7 year $161 million dollar deal? Heck no.
Over the past few weeks teams, particularly the Rangers and Yankees, have obsessed about signing Cliff Lee. Both teams have sent team officials to Lee’s home in Arkansas, to lure him to their organizations. Now, this sort of practice is extremely typical in baseball… well, in most sports actually. But, Cliff Lee? Really? Cliff Lee is good, and obviously won the A.L Cy Young Award in 2008, but 7 years?
Here’s my 2 cents – I think Cliff Lee is a really good pitcher. But, I don’t think his stuff merits the kind of deal that the Yankees and Rangers are offering him. He’s got 6 good pitches, all with good control. But, he doesn’t have that one incredible pitch. Plus, his age. Cliff Lee is 32… in seven years, he’ll be 39. Not to mention, he supposedly turned down a 6 year offer, because it wasn’t good enough (the audacity!). And we all know that pitchers are more prone to getting hurt, and in general, pitchers are physically and mentally more susceptible to bad things happening. His fastball tops out around 92, and in 7 years, or even 5 years, he’ll be lucky to hit 90. Last season, Lee went 12-9 with a 3.18 ERA. Wow.
I can’t understand the obsession that both these teams have for Lee, especially when the Royals are entertaining getting rid of Zack Greinke.