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Cliff Lee Strikes Deal With Phillies

NEW YORK (AP) — Cliff Lee is returning to the Philadelphia Phillies, the team that traded him nearly one year ago.

The free-agent pitcher reached a preliminary agreement on a contract with the Phillies on Monday night.

The deal is subject to the 32-year-old left-hander passing a physical.

The New York Yankees and Texas Rangers received telephone calls Monday night telling them they were out of the running.

Lee, the 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner, turned down longer and more lucrative offers to return to the team he helped reach the 2009 World Series after a midseason trade from Cleveland.

New York had started with a $138 million, six-year offer to Lee, the person familiar with the Yankees’ negotiations said. After outfielder Carl Crawford agreed to a seven-year, $142 million deal with the Boston Red Sox, New York immediately increased its offer to Lee to $150 million over seven seasons, the person said.

Philadelphia dealt Lee to Seattle as part of a four-team, nine-player swap after the 2009 season while simultaneously acquiring Roy Halladay from Toronto and signing him to a new contract that added $60 million over three seasons. When the Phillies sign Lee, he will join Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels to form what would be considered the top rotation in the major leagues.

The Phillies have been considering trading pitcher Joe Blanton and/or outfielder Raul Ibanez to clear payroll space, a person familiar with Philadelphia’s deliberations said. That person spoke on condition of anonymity because those talks were ongoing.

Lee had a good time during his stay with the Phillies, who acquired him from Cleveland in July 2009.

“At first, I didn’t believe it. I thought we were working out an extension with the Phillies,” Lee said the day after the trade. “I thought I’d be spending the rest of my career there. … I was under the impression they wanted to keep me there for a long time. In my mind, it was going to happen.”

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  • Tom R

    not many hands beat FOUR ACES….and damn few teams will …the most difficult times ahead will be keeping egos in check..I think we have 4 grown up confident men and will prove to be one of the, if not the best, rotations ever assembled in baseball history

  • Chris DiGangi

    How about calling the Phillies rotation the ‘Phab Phour’- best line up since John, Paul, George & Ringo! I tried to get that on WIP last night but gave up waiting…

  • John B

    I see Cole Hamels being traded for a potent offensive outfielder or a top prospect. I don’t believe Cole will be happy being the #4 guy in the rotation, if he can be a #1 or 2 somewhere else.

  • Anne Frankenstein

    Will this lower our taxes?

  • Stan Lee

    uh…I remember seeing Cliff Lee get shut down in this last world series….just sayin…



  • Mike

    Merry Cliff-mas!!!

  • Shawn G

    WOW Has phils fans we need to suportt this team . Buy all the shirts keep selling out the park!!! Lets keep this roll going because the phills are.
    Thanks to the Cliff lee family and WELCOME BACK TO PHILLY!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mike Hennelly

    Players WANT to come HERE! When did we start living in this alternate universe? Hard to believe, Harry!

  • Sally Scaggs

    Welcome to Philadelphia, the town that Mr. & Mrs. Cliff Lee did not forget!

  • Evie

    Yes Phillies Fans there is a Santa Claus and his name is Ruben Amaro Jr. AWESOME!!

  • go phils

    jayson who

  • Tony

    The monster just grew another head! OMG!!

  • Ellen Zanolle

    Mer-Lee Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Alex Zanolle
    Haddonfield, NJ

  • gorz95

    Best NY daily news cover since the Jets hired Kotite.

    • Alex Zanolle

      Mer-Lee Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Coach D

    At least 2 more championships with this line up!



  • Darlene Duke Katz


  • James Kirwin

    Class guy…great to see him back!!!!

  • Average_Joseph

    How many days until pitchers and catchers report. OMG. Omg. Omg!!!

  • adam from California

    The R2C2 rotation!!!!! Go Birds….

  • Phil

    OHHH YEAHHHHH!!!! We Just won the World Series. We got 4 Aces, Count them up, 4 Aces!! Can’t nobody score no points against us. We just need 2 more clutch hitters….:))) This is Amazing.

  • Brian Corey

    WHOOOO We will def make the playoffs maybe world seris

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