Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Earlier this off-season, Cliff Lee announced that he would attempt to come back for the 2016 season. Lee's agent, Darek Braunecker, has recently said that the lefty pitcher would sign a one-year deal for a team that would be "the perfect fit."

Lee hasn't pitched since July 2014 due to a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow. The Phillies declined his $27.5 million option for 2016 and instead bought out his final year for $12.5 million. Considering this, the question is, what would be the perfect fit for the 37-year-old veteran pitcher? Well, some are speculating that fit could be the Yankees. A piece from YES states:

"It's no secret that the Yankees would love to bring in a lefty starter to help balance out the rotation as CC Sabathia returns from a season filled with nagging knee pain and D.L. time."
Fair enough. Last season was shaky for our normally reliable lefty pitcher. But Lee hasn't pitched in well over a year. As the piece goes on to point out "so many question marks surround Lee and what he still has left to give after his last two years of injury-plagued baseball." The idea of spending money on one questionable-injury plagued pitcher, to cover another questionable-injury plagued pitcher seems... well, not smart. 

To be clear, there is still no certainty that he will actually return. Lee's agent has said that he is taking it day by day, and will work deeper into the off season to prepare. They won't know for certain if Lee, in fact, plans on returning for another few weeks. 

Between the injuries and the last few episodes between Lee and the Yankees, I wouldn't hold my breath on seeing Lee in Yankees pinstripes.

In 2010, the Yankees made Lee an offer of $150 million over seven years. An offer that seemed very likely to be taken. Lee held on until nearly deadline to turn down the offer, and instead went to the Phillies for five years, and $30 million less. There is also the grudge that Lee holds against Yankee fans for having mistreated his wife when they visited in 2010. The Yankees ended up on his "no trade" list a few years later. So, while not completely impossible, the idea of Lee becoming a Yankee is seriously improbable. 

I know to some the idea of Lee joining the Yankees is great. How helpful would it really be? Even signing him to a one-year deal doesn't leave us with much stability. It would leave us with several questions and uncertainty.  And while it isn't impossible for him to have a great comeback, it is unlikely it will be with the Yankees. 

--Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer 
Twitter: @e_morales1804

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